TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The pain felt from Vanessa Milligan’s death has been building up for two years. Her family says while nothing will bring Vanessa and her baby back, hearing the guilty verdicts brings them some peace.
A long awaited verdict opened the floodgates of emotion. Gabriel Vega’s eyes were glued to the floor as all watched him be convicted of manslaughter, arson and abortion.
“Baby girl, we got him that’s the best thing I can tell you. I’m going to celebrate today,”said Nate Milligan, Vanessa’s father.
Vanessa Milligan’s father told us with justice for his daughter, he can finally exhale, even though Vega was found not guilty of murder.
“I’m fine with that. He knows what he did. He has to answer to god with that I mean you can fool the system, but they got him,” he continued.
Milligan’s aunt in tears that Vega wasn’t convicted of murder.
“We buried to lives, Vanessa and Aleena, and for him to walk away with just a manslaughter charge and not one murder charge I think was wrong,” said Shannon Williamson, Vanessa’s aunt.
As for Vega, his attorney said he’s happy he was spared the murder conviction; they will plan to appeal.
“Mr. Vega is maintaining his innocence,” the attorney said
His family also left the courthouse, heartbroken.
“There’s just no winners here we are hurting just as well as the Milligan family. We’re hurting we lost Gabriel to the system they lost Vanessa and we are still in his support,” said Elba Pacheco, Vega family friend.
Vega’s sentencing is slated for July 14. Rensselear County DA Joel Abelove say they will go for the maximum sentence which is more than 50 years.
On Wednesday night there will be a balloon release for Vanessa at 7:00 p.m. at 271 5th Ave. at the scene of the fire.
Fire crews responded to a call for a fire on 5th Avenue just before midnight on April 3. Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett confirmed the death, saying crews located the body after responding to reports of someone trapped upstairs.
Family members identified the woman as Vanessa Milligan. She was pregnant at the time.
Troy Police Captain John Cooney said police ruled the fire was intentional, and the case was investigated as a double homicide. Cooney said the site of the fire is where any and all crimes took place.
“This isn’t an accident,” he said. “This isn’t self-inflicted by the victim. This is homicide.”
“She wanted to make an impact,” friend Ashleigh Searles said. “I mean obviously she should be here with us, but now that she’s gone it should be a lesson, an impact, and it shouldn’t be happening at all…”
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