VISTA, Calif. — An Escondido resident who fatally shot a man who did work for the defendant’s landlady was sentenced Thursday to 80 years to life in state prison.
Michael James Hemphill, 60, was convicted of first-degree murder for the April 24, 2013, killing of Brandon Sanchez.
Deputy District Attorney Laurie Hauf said the 35-year-old victim was shot in the chest in the 600 block of McDonald Lane in Escondido. He died at the scene.
Upon questioning, Hemphill told detectives that the shooting was an accident. But police said Hemphill confronted Sanchez as he was doing landscaping work on the property, where Hemphill rented a backyard space for his trailer.
Police said Sanchez was acquainted with the property owner and had done maintenance work and other odd jobs for her in the past.
Hemphill harbored resentment toward Sanchez for prior interactions in which Sanchez contacted Hemphill about unpaid rent and other concerns on behalf of the property owner, investigators said.