TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A family waited almost ten years to see justice for a man who shot and killed a young woman. The man was just sentenced but the family does not think it was justice.’
Genna Ayup was 27 years old, standing in a doorway holding her baby when she was shot and killed.
Her boyfriend Ronald Corbin said the gun went off by accident as he was installing new hand grips. At first the case was treated as an accident and Corbin was not charged—-until six years later when work by Genna Ayup’s family led to a manslaughter charge that could have led to up to 12 years in prison.
Last month a plea deal led Corbin to plead guilty to a lesser charge of negligent homicide.
Friday, with Corbin facing sentencing, Genna Ayup’s family told Judge Scott McDonald of the depth of their loss.
And Corbin said he feels the loss too.
“I never, ever wanted anything like this to ever happen. I wish I could trade places with her but I can’t. I just try to do my best to take care of my son. And I live my life as if she’s staring down at me, watching me, judging me, guiding me and I just want to make her proud.”
Corbin’s attorney urged the Judge to keep Corbin out of jail so he can care for their child he and Genna Ayup shared–a child now about 13 years old.
Judge McDonald said he was required to abide by the plea agreement and sentenced Corbin to three years probation—with Corbin in danger of a year in jail if he breaks probation requirements.
Genna Ayup’s family says Corbin should not be serving probation that leaves him free.
Her father Earl Solheid says, “I wanted to see jail time, unfortunately.”
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “How much?
Earl Solheid replied, “They talked about 1 to 3 years, I would have been very happy.”
Genna Ayup’s mother Toni Solheid showed a locket around her neck and said, “I guess what you have left is what I have. There’s her ashes right here. It just says, “Always to my heart.”
Ayup's family and Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik pressured prosecutors to reopen the case in 2018.
Work by Genna Ayup’s family and Tucson City Councilmember Steve Kozachik convinced prosecutors to reopen the case in 2018.
If Corbin violates his probation, he could face about a year in jail.
Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.