TROY, N.Y. -- Even though he wasn't convicted of murder, Gabriel Vega will spend most of his life in prison. The 20-year-old was sentenced to 50 years behind bars, which was the maximum penalty the judge could have handed him.
He was convicted on manslaughter, arson, and abortion charges connected to the death of his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Milligan. The manslaughter and arson charges each held a maximum penalty of 25 years; he'll serve those sentences consecutively, and the abortion sentence will be served while he's doing time for manslaughter.
Vanessa's father, Nathan, begged the judge to show him no mercy.
"He doesn't look happy right now," Nathan said. "Today, I need you to treat Gabe Vega's sentence like a funeral. This should be his funeral. This should be his demise. This should be the last day that he ever sees Troy, New York."
Inside the courtroom, there was an audible sigh of relief from family members when the judge said Vega would be in prison for five decades.
Vega was convicted of killing 19-year-old Vanessa Milligan and her unborn baby Alina in April of 2014.
The family has been fighting for justice for more than two years. Thursday, Nathan called Vega's sentencing a funeral.
Nathan said he felt Vanessa in court with him Thursday, and in a way, she really was. Each family member carried with them a little urn with Vanessa and Alina's ashes.