Long road ahead for Travis Alexander's family - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Murder victim's father: Long road ahead for Travis Alexander's family

Members of Travis Alexander's family have been sitting at the trial of Jodi Arias.  (Source: CBS 5 News) Members of Travis Alexander's family have been sitting at the trial of Jodi Arias. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Dan Marco's son was murdered and he speaks from experience when he says the Alexander family has a long road ahead. Dan Marco's son was murdered and he speaks from experience when he says the Alexander family has a long road ahead.
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.

"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," said Dan Marco, whose son Zachary was murdered in 2010.

Zachary Marco, 21, was walking to his Tempe apartment from ASU when he was robbed and shot for his laptop and cell phone.

When it came time for justice, despite being for the death penalty, Marco said he did not want his son's killer sitting on death row facing a lengthy appeals process.

"I did not want my family to go through what they're about to go through," Marco said of Alexander's family. "They have been dragged so deeply through the muck and mire of the criminal process."

Marco said he would probably be 80 years old when his son's killer was executed. The man responsible pleaded guilty to robbery and murder and will not be eligible for parole for 40 years.

Marco worked closely with the prosecutor and advised that he preferred a plea deal to avoid his son's killer going to death row.

"Why do you want to put the victim's family through this for 25 years? We're just executing people who were convicted in the '80s. The victim's family for the next 25 years is going to be reminded of not only the death but the circumstances of the death," he said.

Marco was watching the trial of Jodi Arias (who was convicted of first-degree murder in Alexander's death) Wednesday as Alexander's sisters reacted with tears and disbelief to news the jury could not reach a decision on whether Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or given the death penalty.

"That poor girl," Marco said of Alexander's sister, "You could just see the grief, the grief pouring out of her. It was terrible."

Marco was a criminal defense attorney for 23 years. He said he doesn't have the stomach for that line of work anymore, opting instead for personal injury clients.

Marco also does a lot of work with victims. He sits in court with them to explain the legal process and also offers guidance on writing letters to clemency boards.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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