PHOENIX -- It's been almost six years since a Valley couple lost their only son. His senseless murder has kept this family fighting. They just settled a wrongful death lawsuit and are now talking to 3TV exclusively about why a new state law is needed to save other families from heartache.
“I always say I wish people could have known him because he really was amazing,” Sandy Padilla said.
Padilla is talking about her son, Rudy Jr. The 20-year-old had his whole life in front of him.
“The day we found out he was murdered by a subcontractor both me and my husband didn't want to wake up,” Padilla said.
Padilla and her husband, Rudy Sr., lost their son on Dec. 9, 2005. Michael Gallardo sits on death row for his murder. Rudy Jr. was asleep when Gallardo broke into the Padilla home.
Rudy Sr. found his son with his hands and feet bound, a pillowcase over his face and a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
“Our last six years have been nothing but trials and hearings,” Padilla said.
According to a deposition last year, Gallardo says Rudy Jr. approached him a few days prior with questions about his Internet being slow. Gallardo was wearing a T-shirt that identified him as an Allcom employee working for Cox. He said he called the Padilla house a few days later, when no one answered, he broke in.
“We found out that there was no criminal background check done on the person that murdered our son,” Padilla said.
It turns out Gallardo had 16 prior felony convictions.
“I don't think he should have been allowed to have his job from a company like this,” Rudy Sr. said.
“We hope by going to legislation that someone listens,” Padilla said.
One person listening is state Sen. Linda Gray.
“What I think is important is that businesses do a background check on all employees,” Gray said. “The state doesn't have a law concerning that.”
The senator plans to introduce legislation.
“The proposed legislation does not have a penalty for the businesses,” Gray said. “They would assume the liability if they don't do a background check.”
“This all we can do for him now,” Rudy Sr. said. “We have to keep his name out and hopefully this will make him proud.”
Gray plans to introduce the legislation in January.