By Anna Olsen
ALAMEDA, CA – Anthony Pimentel was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life here in Alameda County Superior Court for the strangling and murder of his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Mariah Davis.
But the mother of the victim had one last chance to address Pimentel before sentencing.
Davis went missing on Sept. 26, 2018. And when Pimentel was asked about her whereabouts, he said he didn’t know.
Less than a week later, Pimentel turned himself in and confessed to the crime on Oct. 1, 2018, admitting that he strangled Mariah and that her body could be found covered by leaves in a San Leandro Park
Her body was found the same day by authorities at Lake Chabot.
Multiple close friends and family members of Mariah addressed the court before Pimentel’s sentence was revealed by the judge.
“Your Honor, I wish you could have met Mariah, you would have loved her,” her mother said to Judge Thomas Nixon. “She was such a special young lady. She never made an enemy.”
Another close family member remembered, “When Mariah joined the social justice committee in her high school, it didn’t come as a surprise to me. Mariah tried to help every soul she came across.”
Others spoke about the systemic issue of violence against women of color that exists today.
“We held one another as we cried, especially the young women of color, because for them Mariah’s murder was a manifestation of their nightmares realized,” stated a teacher at Davis’s former high school.
“But the biggest wavering question is will she get justice? Sadly, many are doubtful because there are many examples of Black women whose calls for justice go unheard. I am hopeful that Mariah will be the exception and her family will get the justice they deserve.”
Others addressed Pimentel personally and spoke of his character.
“You walked around town for days like nothing had happened after taking Mariah’s life,” one family member stated to Pimentel. “What kind of monster does that? How dare you.”
A teacher at Pimentel’s former high school spoke on his behavior, noting, “I often think about how things would be different if he was held accountable earlier for his toxic masculinity and his uncontrollable temper. I was too scared to admit but I always knew that he was capable of it.”
Many individuals addressed Judge Nixon directly regarding the impact that his sentencing would have on their lives and their community.
“He does not deserve mercy, he doesn’t even deserve to live. I plead to the court, think about your family when you make your decision,” Mariah’s cousin stated.
A former teacher at Pimentel’s school argued, “If Anthony served a shortened sentence, was released early or made eligible for parole, it would send a message that Mariah’s life did not matter. Your actions and decisions around the sentencing will affect our community as a whole.”
After listening to each statement, Judge Nixon said, “The only thing that would make it right is to bring her back. And nothing I will do today will change that. I’m very sorry for everyone’s pain.”