A 38 year old Weed man faces a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to the first degree murder of 83 year old Henry Mariani during a burglary in March, 2012.

A 38 year old Weed man faces a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to the first degree murder of 83 year old Henry Mariani during a burglary in March, 2012.

Darryl James Lawrence was accused of breaking into Mariani’s Weed home, throwing Mariani against a nightstand, and striking him with a knee in the chest in the course of stealing bank cards and a small amount of cash, according to a release from Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus’s office.

The DA’s office reports that a Weed Police Department investigation revealed Lawrence was unsuccessful in attempts to use the stolen bank cards at two Weed ATMs, but he did use them to purchase $150 worth of video games via his Xbox Live.

“Our hearts go out to Mr. Mariani’s family,” Andrus states in the release. “What a tragedy to have this gentleman’s life end in an act of violence in his own home. Whether by a jury verdict or by his own plea, we were determined that a first degree murder sentence of 25 years to life result from this terrible act.”

It is unusual, according to Andrus, for a defendant who is not eligible for the death penalty to plead guilty to a charge carrying a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Andrus attributes the plea to the “thorough and professional investigation by the Weed Police Department and the efforts of Deputy District Attorney John Quinn.”

Lawrence, who “had a significant prior criminal history,” according to the release, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 27. “Under California law he must serve every single day of the base 25-year term with no credit for good behavior.”

The homicide was classified as first degree murder under the “felony murder rule” because it occurred in the course of committing a felony offense, according to the release.

The DA’s office reported that the burglary happened in the early morning hours with a “lookout posted outside the home” while Lawrence was inside. Mariani was attacked after he woke up while Lawrence was searching his bedroom.