LA Criminal Court Building

A man convicted of killing a Silver Lake handyman and cutting off his left hand before fleeing to Mexico more than a decade ago was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry denied the defense's motion for a new trial for Alan Machain, calling the evidence against the 37- year-old defendant "rather overwhelming."

Jurors found Machain guilty Oct. 9 of first-degree murder for the Oct. 8, 2008, shooting of Cesar Valenzuela, 44, of South Gate.

The victim -- who had been hired to do maintenance and repairs by the owner of a triplex in the 1400 block of Silver Lake Boulevard -- was shot at least three times and his left hand -- which was never found -- was cut off inside the home. His body was found five days later in a bathroom.

The motive for the killing was unclear.

Machain, a Lynwood resident whose brother was an employee of the property owner, had been given permission to occasionally stay in an unoccupied rental unit at the facility, according to testimony.

Machain fled the area after being sought as a person of interest, and he remained in hiding until he was arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, in June 2017 and returned to the United States, according to the District Attorney's Office.

In a statement read in court on her behalf, the victim's daughter, Julissa, noted that she was 4 when her father was killed.

Addressing the defendant directly, she called Machain's actions "merciless."

"I will never understand why you killed my father in such a cruel way," she wrote.

The victim's sister, Veronica, wrote in a letter that her older brother was her best friend and that the family was forever changed by what happened 11 years ago.

"My entire family has suffered over this for years," she wrote, noting that they still miss him and remember him.

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