Nineteen-year-old Mauricio Johnson was sentenced this morning to 150 years to life in prison for the February 2021 murders of three people shot to death in their home on the Bear River Rancheria.

Judge Timothy Canning sentenced Johnson to six consecutive terms of 25 years to life: three terms for murdering Margarett Lee Moon, Shelly Moon and Nikki Metcalf and three terms for personal use of a firearm.

Johnson sat alone at the counsel table in the front of the courtroom, with his attorney Andrea Sullivan appearing via Zoom. Despite several challenges to face the large courtroom audience, he stared straight ahead during the nearly two-hour hearing. He declined to make a statement, saying “No, Your Honor.”

The left side of the courtroom was packed with family members and friends of the victims, with many standing up to make statements on how the killings have affected their lives. Some spoke to the judge, some directly to the killer.

“I’d like him to turn around,” said Wayne Moon, father of Margarett and grandfather of 16-year-old Shelly. “Why do you keep looking at the wall?”

Wayne Moon said Johnson was welcome in his daughter’s home, so why did he go there with a gun? Several people said Johnson shot all three in the head after he was caught in the act of sexually assaulting Shelly.

“He doesn’t have the guts to turn around and look me in the eye,” Moon said.

Margarett Moon and Nikki Metcalf, both 40, were planning to be married in the summer. He had asked her to marry him just weeks before they were killed.

Cherri Moon, niece of Margarett, said she was the last person to speak with her. Margarett called her about 3:30 a.m. and asked her to pick up her daughters, who were visiting their cousin Shelly.

“Little Shelly was happy and laughing,” when she arrived to pick up her girls, Cherri said. Sometimes she blames herself for what happened afterward, because if her daughters had been there “he wouldn’t have had a chance to rape Shelly.”

One of Margarett Moon’s younger children, who was in the home when her mother and sister were killed, wrote a letter to the judge that was read today by Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees. In the letter, Chloe Moon said she was awake when Johnson came to her house that morning. And when he came in, Chloe said, she felt something was wrong. She felt hurt.

“Ever since that day,” she wrote, “I haven’t been able to talk to anyone like I talked to my mother.”

Before, “I always thought my life was so great.”

Now, “I still see the images of what I saw that morning.”

One speaker was shushed in a hurry after he told Johnson “I could take you out right now.” He challenged Johnson to “at least turn around and apologize,” but he got no response.

“What’s going to happen to you in prison?” asked Jerimiah Radford, who referred to Metcalf as his brother. “The biggest shank I know of is going through your eardrum and out your belly button.”

Radford calmed down after being admonished by the judge and apologizing. But he continued speaking to Johnson, saying that not only had he killed his brother, Metcalf was buried on Radford’s birthday.

“We’re not the bad guys,” he said. “You’re the bad guy. We didn’t kill nobody. You killed somebody.”

Also speaking to Johnson was Annette Moon, another niece of Margarett’s.

“You didn’t have to go over there (to the house),” Annette said. “Why did you go over there?”

She accused Johnson of having no remorse for taking three lives.

“You knew Margarett. You knew Shelly. We all grew up together.”

Metcalf’s mother, Sandra Dean Keisner, told Johnson “there’s no reason you shouldn’t get the death penalty.”

“I’m enraged at the behavior of Mr. Johnson,” she said. “No amount of psychotherapy will heal our shattered hearts.”

Keisner had been looking forward to a wedding in July, when she would become Margarett’s mother-in-law and Shelly’s grandmother.

“Instead of a holy matrimonial ceremony we had three burials,” she said.

Johnson was 18 when he committed the murders. Under California’s Youthful Offender Program he can apply for parole in 25 years. If parole is denied then, he can apply every five years.

He agreed to the sentence when he pleaded guilty to the murder and weapons charges.

One speaker, Jewel Frank, was outraged at the outcome, saying “we begged them (the DA) not to take the offer.”

Frank said this should be a federal case, with federal law overriding state law.

Although Johnson chose to remain silent, his attorney said he took responsibility by pleading guilty “very very early on in the proceedings.”

Judge Canning commented that Johnson’s crimes were “particularly heinous and vicious acts that clearly destroyed a number of families.”

Canning urged people to continue with counseling. He also pointed out that by resolving the case early, the victims’ family and friends avoided a trial, with “the pain and anguish of having to listen to days of testimony.”

Johnson’s mother, Melissa Sanchez-Johnson, sat in the back of the courtroom today. The mother and her boyfriend, Von Keener, have been charged with aiding and abetting Johnson after the murders.

Keener was riding with Johnson as he drove east, making it as far as Utah before he was arrested by that state’s Highway Patrol. Sanchez-Johnson was in a vehicle behind them.

Johnson was given credit for 370 days served.