A woman convicted of attacking another Chicago woman with acid, leaving her severely disfigured, has been sentenced to 44 years in prison.
Cook County Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford on Monday sentenced 60-year-old Ofelia Garcia to one year less than the 45-year maximum. Garcia was convicted in September of heinous battery in the July 2008 attack on Esperanza Medina, which left burns over 25 percent of Medina's body.
"This is the part I was waiting for. I'm happy with it. I wasn't expecting this today," said Garcia. "I just want to go on with my life, try to lead a normal life. I am a fighter, I have to go on."
Maria Olvera-Garcia was found guilty by a separate jury of three counts of heinous battery in the same case.
Prosecutors contended Olvera-Garcia and Garcia were angry about a man Medina was dating and allegedly drove three teens to Medina's Chicago neighborhood to carry out the attack. The teens have pleaded guilty to battery charges.
Separate juries were seated because each woman blamed the other.
"What she did was terrible and had to be punished," said Ford of Garcia. "When somebody pours acid on another person, the whole purpose is to change their life forever. To mark them, so society will view them differently."
Medina's daughter, Lisette, read the victim's impact statement on behalf of her mother.
"Every time I was reading it I would cry. I was reading it like like her voice, trying to emphasize would like she would. I was trying to be her voice,' she said.