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Youth Sentenced In Murder Of Actor

June 3, 1986

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A teen-ager has been sentenced to the maximum term of 26 years to life for stabbing an actor to death with a screwdriver.

Genaro Samano Villanueva, 17, had pleaded for forgiveness, but the widow of David Huffman made an impassioned statement asking the judge to be stern.

″I had to do that for David,″ Phyllis Huffman said Monday. ″I adored that man for 20 years. He was life, not just to me but to all of us. The loss is immeasurable and is impossible to articulate.″

Superior Court Judge Norbert Ehrenfreund rejected a defense motion that Villanueva be sent to the California Youth Authority until the age of 25.

″I fear if he’s placed in the CYA, he would be returned to the community stil posing a danger to others,″ Ehrenfreund said.

Villanueva, an illegal alien from Mexico, was living with relatives in San Diego when Huffman, 40, was stabbed five times in a canyon of Balboa Park in February 1985. The park was not far from the Old Globe Theatre where Huffman was starring in the stage production ″Of Mice And Men.″ He also appeared in the movies ″F.I.S.T.,″ ″Firefox,″ and ″The Onion Field.″

The teen-ager testified Huffman chased him after seeing him trying to burglarize a motor home. Fearing Huffman would kill him or turn him in to police, Villanueva said he stabbed the actor, but didn’t mean to kill him.

Defense attorney Allan Williams said he would appeal the sentence on grounds that his defendant was wrongly convicted of first-degree murder.

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