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MARTINEZ — A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Wednesday, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in the 2017 shooting death of a Discovery Bay resident.

Before Brayan Zavala-Garcia was sentenced, he heard from several close friends and family members of Bradley MacHugh, 48, who Zavala-Garcia shot and killed in October 2017. Authorities said at the time that MacHugh may have confronted a group of people, including the defendant, who were recklessly driving through his neighborhood, apparently in search of a party.

MacHugh, who left behind a wife and two sons, was seen by his neighbors as a protector of the Wilde Drive neighborhood where they lived. He was described as someone always willing to lend a hand or organize a get-together.

“The devastation is just too much,” said Lanie MacHugh, Bradley MacHughs wife, as Zavala-Garcia sat a few feet away, dressed in a yellow inmate jumpsuit. “I feel like I died that night…I pray for you and I pray for your family.”

Lanie described in heart-wrenching detail the last few moments she spent with her husband. She said they were walking a dog, when Bradley got into an argument with the defendant and others in his group. Lanie left to bring the dog home, then returned, she told Zavala-Garcia in court, half-expecting that “you and your friends would be beating up my old man husband.”

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“I found him lying in the bushes,” Lanie said, sobbing as she spoke. “He was already gone, but I had to try…I put my hand under to see if there was an exit wound, but there wasnt”

Lanie said she tried CPR, but to no avail. As police and EMTs arrived, Lanie and several neighbors wondered how on earth they would explain to Lanie and Bradleys sons — who slept through the shooting — that their father was now dead.

“You could have left. You could have just left,” Lanie said in court.

Zavala-Garcia, whose name is also listed as “Brayan Zavala” in court records, did not speak at the hearing. But Judge Barbara Zuniga told him before handing down sentence that she could tell by the look on his face he regretted his actions.

“I really hope you do something with your life,” Zuniga said. “Gangs will try to recruit you in prison…If you go down that road, youre going to be before another judge again.”

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