Delia Perales waited 26 years to see Juaquin “Jack” Briceno go to prison for shooting and killing her husband in a North Toledo bar.
However, her elation over Briceno's conviction on a charge of voluntary manslaughter was diminished yesterday when Lucas County Common Pleas Judge William Skow granted him early release.
Briceno, 57, of 414 Branbury Rd., served about 90 days of a six-to-25-year sentence.
The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office did not oppose Briceno's release as part of a plea negotiation contingent upon his attorneys waiting 30 days to ask for early release.
Briceno was convicted in November for the Feb. 8, 1976, shooting death of John Duran at Lautrec's tavern, 832 Walnut St., where he was celebrating the birth of his daughter three days earlier.
Mrs. Perales said the last time she saw her husband was when he left what was then Riverside Hospital, carrying a picture of their newborn daughter. Mr. Duran, 28, had an argument in the upstairs room of the bar, went downstairs, and was shot twice in the presence of as many as 12 people.
Briceno was indicted for the murder in May after Toledo police detectives reopened the case at the request of Mrs. Perales and her family.
Sam Kaplan, Briceno's attorney, said the conviction resulted in his client losing his job as a maintenance worker for the Washington Local Schools. He also pointed out that Briceno did not have a criminal record other than the manslaughter conviction.
Judge Skow placed Briceno on community control for five years and sent him to the county work-release program for six months. He also will have to perform 300 hours of community service.
Mrs. Perales, who remarried in 1987, told Judge Skow her daughter and two other children grew up without a father.
She said three months was not long enough, but she understood the provision for shock probation was the only way to guarantee that he went to prison.
“I feel that he should get the strongest and harshest community service he can do,” she said.