A father who tried to kill his 9-year-old son by slitting his throat twice was sent to state prison for 10 years, despite a prosecutor asking that he be sent away for the rest of his life.
Victor Orena, 40, of Fort Myers, remains in Collier County jail, awaiting transport to state prison after an appeal of his convictions for armed burglary and attempted second-degree murder was denied this month.
In June, Assistant State Attorney Steve Maresca asked that Orena be sentenced to life for the armed burglary charge and 15 years for the murder attempt, the maximum for both. Before Assistant Public Defender Shawn Nagle could seek less, Circuit Judge Jack Schoonover sentenced Orena to 10 years in state prison, followed by five years of probation on each charge. Because Orena faces deportation, he likely won’t serve probation.
The attack came July 3, 2007, when Orena arrived at a Santa Barbara Boulevard home where his estranged wife, Thelma Valdez, was hiding. When she heard him knock, she fled out the back door of her cousin’s home, leaving her cousin, her cousin’s children and her sons, Adrian, 9, and Victor Jr., 10.
Orena smashed a kitchen window, climbed in and grabbed Adrian, slitting his neck twice with a pocket knife as his brother watched. Orena then tried to cut himself, but failed, then plunged a kitchen knife into his abdomen.
When deputies and emergency workers arrived, they found Adrian bleeding, his trachea nearly severed, and his father bleeding from a ruptured vein. Permanently injured, the boy speaks in a whisper and wheezes. Neither he nor his mother, who live in Texas, were at sentencing, which left both the prosecutor and victim advocate angry and shocked.