SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Quadruple murderer Nicolas Holzer was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Goleta Valley man was convicted of four counts of murder in the gruesome deaths of his parents and two young sons in 2014.
In court Friday, Holzer was given four life sentences, one for each family member killed. He was also given an additional three years for cruelty to an animal for killing the family's pet dog plus five years for using a knife in the commission of the crime.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley hopes the sentence will bring peace of mind for those who are still suffering from the killings.
Holzer's defense attorney, Christine Voss, released the following statement:
Nicolas Holzer is not evil or heartless and he loved his family very much, but when his delusional beliefs escalated they overtook his ability to be rational.
Nicolas’ parents knew that he was very sick, they struggled to provide care for him, and clearly loved him - I am confident that they would be devastated to know that he will spend the rest of his life in a small prison cell with minimal psychiatric care.
This case is a tragic reminder to our community about the importance of accessible mental health treatment and support for families that are struggling with a loved one who suffers from mental illness.
Until our society understands and prioritizes services for our mentally ill community members these incidents will continue to occur and we will continue to imprison rather than treat the most vulnerable members of our society.
Friday's sentence comes on the heels of a one-week sanity trial in which a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge found Holzer "Not Insane."