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Leisa Hurst (30) was missing for around nine months before her boyfriend led police to her body
Published: Nov 23, 2009 @ 3:07 PM
Leisa Hurst (30)
Jan 22, 2009
Cause of Death:
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Judge Steven Mapes formally sentenced a 37-year-old Silver Lakes man to 15 years to life Friday in connection with the killing of his apparent 30-year-old Barstow girlfriend.
Jeami Chiapulis pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of Leisa Hurst during a hearing on Nov. 6. The guilty plea was part of a deal he reached with the district attorney's office to avoid a trial and first degree murder conviction. Chiapulis revealed the location of Hurst's body and agreed to serve 15 years to life as part of the deal.
Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty said that Chiapulis' will serve a minimum of 15 years before his case can even be reviewed by a parole board and could possibly spend his entire life in prison.
"I'm pleased that (the family) can finally give her a proper burial and move on now that the sentencing is over," Daugherty said.
Hurst's family and friends filled the courtroom on Friday and took the opportunity to talk to the court during the victim impact statements. Chiapulis sat still watching each person as they spoke.
Hurst's daughters, a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old, walked toward the front of the courtroom together and took turns speaking.
"It will never be the same," The 13-year-old said between sobs. "I'm never going to get a text from mom telling me to have a good day and that she loves me. I can't ask her for anything anymore. She always gave the best advice."
Loren Brewster, Hurst's uncle, spoke to the court about her recent funeral.
"As part of a plea deal Leisa's body was recovered by the authorities and she was released to the family by the San Bernardino County Coroner," Brewster said. "We were able to bury her at Sunset Hills (Memorial Park) and this time she was surrounded by family and members of her adopted family."
Brewster finished his statement by saying that although the family has Hurst back, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
"There are so many questions," Brewster said. "How anyone could do this to another human being? How could someone just kill a person and leave them in the desert like trash?"
Mapes asked Paul Henderson, Chiapulis' public defender, if Chiapulis would like to make a statement. Mapes also said that he believed the family would appreciate a comment from Chiapulis, but he could not order him to talk. Henderson told Mapes that he had talked to Chiapulis and that he didn't wish to give a statement.
Hurst was reported missing January 22. Chiapulis checked himself into the psychiatric ward of an unidentified hospital on Jan. 26. Police said Chiapulis had a romantic relationship with Hurst, and searched his home twice shortly after Hurst's disappearance. He was arrested at a Redland's motel on February 13 just after being released from the hospital.
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