Cop's family finds little comfort after sentencing

June 11, 2010 10:33:06 AM PDT
The two people convicted of killing Houston Police Officer Henry Canales will spend decades in prison. But that is of little comfort to the Canales family. They say the actions of those two illegal immigrants aren't the only reason the son, husband and father they loved so much died in the line of duty. After sitting for more than three weeks of Trial, Canales' family he paid the ultimate price.

"I never realized how hard it is," said his widow, Amor Canales.

"We're just now breathing," said his sister, Lucia Canales.

They sat down with us to help us understand their loss.

"You don't realize what you have until it's gone," his daughter, Stephanie Canales, said. "I miss it so much."

They say even the absence of a greeting at the door can be overwhelming.

On Monday afternoon, Xiomora Mendez Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado were each sentenced to 60 years in prison for their role in the undercover officer's death last June. He was close to finishing a sting operation when he was murdered.

It was all recorded. In court, his family heard his dying moments.

"It was horrifying," said his brother, Jesus Canales Jr. "It just tore my heart to hear him suffering."

The audio recording helped answer some questions, but it also fueled some anger. Canales gave his signal for a cleared transaction four times before he was shot and backup came to his aid.

"We're thinking, Wow," Lucia Canales said. "He said come help me. He might not have said those exact words, but the deal was done."

"We feel that had they done their job correctly, my brother would still be here," Jesus Canales said.

The family still hasn't decided whether to pursue legal action. For now, his widow and daughter hold on to tight reminders of him.

Stephanie Canales says she hopes to fulfill her father's dreams, like going to and graduating from college.

"Continuing school. That's my main thing right now," she said. "That was his dream."

Like his father, Canales' 14-year-old son wants to be a police officer. His mother will do her best to talk him out of his.

Canales' name has now been added to the list of fallen police officers memorial.

HPD was making an effort to respond to his family's comment Tuesday, but we never heard back.


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