(EL DORADO, Kan.) — When Adam Longoria's seat was left empty at the Barton County Courthouse June 26th, Alicia DeBolt's family viewed it as a cowardly act and a slap in the face.
"Today was our one day that we finally got to say you didn't destroy us, you made us stronger," the 14 year-old murder victim's sister, Dawn DeBolt said at the time. "We didn't get that chance because he punked out."
Longoria, who was found guilty in April of murder and a sex crime, called Eyewitness News Thursday from his prison cell in El Dorado.
Longoria, 38, said he wanted to explain why he was absent from the sentencing and had a message for the family of the teen girl he was convicted of killing and burning.
He said the crime carried an automatic life sentence and he didn't want to be part of a "media circus" and deal with "people "looking at me and laughing or sitting there pointing fingers."