H-SANTA MARIA

Feb 17, 2011 9:27 PM by Ariel Wesler

Father reacts to sentencing in son's murder

The Lompoc man who killed a four-year-old boy last year will spend the rest of his life behind bars. A jury convicted James Lujan in December for beating Diego Calles to death at a Budget Inn, in Lompoc in July of 2009.

He was found guilty on four of six counts, including second degree murder, child abuse, and torture. Lujan was sentenced Thursday morning to 75 years to life in prison without parole.

James Lujan showed little remorse as the judge ordered him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

"This is one of the most terrible crimes this court has ever had to deal with," said Judge Edward Bullard.

Some of the sentences for the 30 year old were doubled because of his criminal past. Back in 2006, he also tortured a 17-month-old girl.

"Neither one of these two children deserved the pain and suffering that they were put through," said Senior Deputy DA Jerald Mcbeth.

Outside the courtroom, hugs were exchanged. Family and friends wore t-shirts in Diego's memory. For them, the sentencing ends a two year ordeal--finally bringing some relief.

"He's gonna be alone. He's not gonna have no friends. People like him are not respected," said Anthony Calles III, Diego's father.

It's also a bittersweet birthday present for the little boy's father.

"A little sense of closure, but it doesn't bring my son back. It doesn't ease the pain," Anthony said.

As Lujan heads to prison, Diego's father says he can move forward and begin to heal, knowing his son's killer is going away for good.

"It's time to change the page and start writing out a different story now. He's gone, but he's right here," he said.


Diego's father says he plans to focus on helping his two other kids and feels justice has been served.

Lujan is the former boyfriend of Diego's mother.

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