Crime Watch 8

Family of girl, 16, killed at JW Marriott says shooter’s punishment not enough

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Cristian Chinchilla and Katherine Maldonado want justice for their sister, Karla Vasquez.

Vasquez was shot and killed inside a hotel room at the JW Marriott in November, and on Wednesday, the teen responsible for her death was sentenced to juvenile detention. Her family says that’s not enough.

“The system did what they wanted to do, and it’s just not fair for us,” Chinchilla said.

Karla was only 16 years old. Her dream was to own a salon business.

“She just got her first boyfriend, and she was waiting for him to pick her up from the hotel,” Maldonado said.

Katherine says they were celebrating her 21st birthday. “She fell asleep waiting for me, and she fell asleep waiting for him. She died in her sleep,” Maldonado said.

“When I was coming back to the hotel, going upstairs, all of the friends that were there and my sister, they all were running down saying she got shot, and I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it,” Maldonado said.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office says the 17-year-old responsible for the shooting will now spend time in a juvenile prison facility until his 21st birthday.

“I wish he could have gotten 20 to 15 years minimum,” Chinchilla said.

“It’s a 16-year-old girl, really pretty, who’s gone now versus a 17-year-old boy who looks like a thug and they still didn’t take that into consideration of a grieving family,” Maldonado said.

Cristian says his grandmother fled Honduras years ago because of the violence.

“Thankfully we were all born here and America’s peaceful… this and that, but America isn’t so peaceful as they make it seem,” Chinchilla said.

Now they’ve filled their home with memories of their loving sister, like pictures and drawings that remind them of who she was. The butterflies in their living room remind them of Karla’s wish.

“I could vividly see the sun coming through the window in my mom’s room and her telling me, next to me, like I hope I get remembered as a butterfly flying around cause I’m going to be in that butterfly. I’m going to be the butterfly looking at you guys,” Chinchilla said.