Quinn Amaro, 18, was sentenced Thursday to 50 years...

SAN DIEGO -- Quinn Amaro, 18, was sentenced Thursday to 50 years for conspiracy and to four life terms for killing four family members, including a 2-year-old girl.

U.S. District Judge Leland Neilsen ordered that the sentences be served concurrently.


Amaro, who admitted gunning down the Poway family, in a remote canyon area last March, looked calm as the judge handed down the sentence. When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Amaro simply responded: 'No Sir.'

Amaro's co-defendant, Roy Alexander, 16, was scheduled to be sentenced Friday on his convictions of four counts of murder in the case.

Amaro and Alexander, who were neighbors, were charged with first-degree murders of Mary Gorka, 50, a Sheridan, Wyo., resident, her children Allen Gorka, 25, and Karen Gorka, 18, of Poway, Calif.; and Karen's 2-year-old daughter, Jessica Murray.

The slayngs occurred on an abandoned military reservation frequented by target shooters, putting the case under federal jurisdiction. The apparent motive was the robbery of collector firearms.

The Gorkas, on a family target shooting outing, were shot at close range as they lay on a blanket.

Armaro said he had been influenced by his younger friend to take part in the shootings. Amaro testified Alexander told him, 'Let's shoot 'em and take their guns.'


'The people had their backs to us and Roy nudged me,' Amaro testified. 'The man stood up and we both started firing. I was shooting the .380 and Roy the .38.

'I shot at the man and the older woman but I emptied my gun and might have hit some of them. Roy then took his .22 and fired at the people until the gun was empty.'

Amaro said he then took a cap and ball pistol and an automatic rifle from the victims and fled.

In a separate trial, Alexander said it was Amaro who initiated the shootings. He said his friend theatened to kill him if he didn't start shooting. Alexander said he opened fire, but didn't think he hit anyone.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us