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Man sentenced to 40 years-to-life for throwing deadly punch outside AG bar

Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 15:07:03-04

The man convicted of throwing a deadly punch outside an Arroyo Grande bar in Oct. 2014 was sentenced Thursday to 40 years-to-life behind bars.

The San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge handed down the sentence to Ignacio Franco Palomar III.

He was found guilty in May of punching Gregory Rustigian from behind as he was walking away from Ralph & Duane’s bar. Rustigian died a few weeks later.

Because Palomar has prior convictions, a court trial on two alleged prior serious felonies, pursuant to the California Three Strikes Law, was heard a day after the guilty verdict.

In that trial, he was only found guilty on one of the enhancements. The other was dismissed.

If Palomar had been convicted of both offenses, the March 2018 guilty verdict would have been his third strike under the California law.

Sentencing for the now 40-year-old was first set for May and then eventually continued to Wednesday where the judge denied the defense’s request for a new trial and continued the hearing again to Thursday. 

Palomar has been in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail since November 2014, according to jail logs.