Man Sentenced for Killing Vietnam Veteran

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Reno man has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2009 slaying of a Vietnam veteran who took him into his home and treated him like a son.

The sentence was imposed Thursday on Juan Vaca, who was 18 when he killed 67-year-old Dorris Smith.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports Vaca claimed he was given signs from God that he should put Smith out of his misery because the widower missed his wife of 39 years so much.

Smith's family disputed Vaca's claims that Smith was miserable.

An autopsy found Smith died of a heart attack triggered by a beating at his Reno home.

Vaca was a friend of Smith's grandson and sometimes spent the night at Smith's home.

He'll be eligible for parole in 28 years.

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