.

Killer Says He Hopes God Will Forgive His Victim

Louis Joseph DiBernardo, 61, was sentenced to 37 years to life for fatally shooting his business associate, Victor Borcherds.

A man who gunned down his business associate in his Wine Country bed-and-breakfast was sentenced today to 37 years to life in prison.

Louis Joseph DiBernardo, 61, was convicted of second-degree murder in the May 12, 2010, slaying of 60-year-old Victor Borcherd.

The killer and his victim were locked in a legal battle over ownership of the B&B. DiBernardo's attorney claimed the victim was bilking his client by not paying rent in an attempt to bankrupt him. Then, DiBernardo would lose the house, and the Borcherds were working with the bank to buy it out from under him, the defense argued.

DiBernardo said he hopes God will forgive his victim for what he did before he was led away in shackles, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Prosecutor Brandon Smith was shocked at DiBernardo's "incredible selfishness," he said.

"You are not the victim here," Smith told DiBernardo during the hearing.

This was the second time that DiBernardo had been tried in the case. Last December, another jury found him guilty of kidnapping and making criminal threats, as well as sentence-enhancing gun use allegations, , leading to the retrial on that count.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez imposed the sentence required by law for the murder count and handed down the maximum punishment -- eight years -- for the kidnapping of the victim's wife.

The confrontation between DiBernardo and Borcherd occurred at the Castle Bed & Breakfast in the 35000 block of Loma Ventosa Lane. The wine country lodge was owned by the defendant and operated by the victim.

In June 2009, Borcherd and his wife, Suzanne, signed a lease agreement with DiBernardo, committing to operate the B&B while living on the premises. A few months later, the Borcherds entered into a superseding contract that stipulated they would purchase the inn the following year, according to court papers.

DiBernardo declared the agreement void, however, after the Borcherds failed to pay him rent. The couple sued him in January 2010, alleging breach of contract.

Deputy District Attorney Brandon Smith said that on the day of the shooting, Victor Borcherd was away from the inn on business when DiBernardo broke in and took Suzanne Borcherd hostage.

The defendant duct-taped the woman's hands behind her back and forced her at gunpoint to stay in a downstairs bedroom, according to trial testimony. Smith said DiBernardo repeatedly threatened to shoot the victim and her husband, who returned about two hours later and was immediately confronted by the defendant.

According to the prosecution, as Victor Borcherd tried to get close to his wife, DiBernardo shot him in the stomach, a wound from which he died a short time later. The defense argued the shooting was accidental.

and told said Borcherds lunged for him, and he stumbled back into a book case, accidentally firing his gun into the victim's abdomen.

Thomasina Lewis May 13, 2012 at 05:11 PM
What a travesty!! Louie Di Bernardo and his family have been failed by the justice system! If the justice system worked Louie would have had his castle back, and none of this would have happened. Prison is not where he heeds to be....he needs to be at home with his family.........Not too mention that Victor's wife is still living in LOUIES CASTLE......Really?? if it was so traumatic for her how is she still living there?.................
TVOR May 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Mr DiBernardo is the one who needs God's forgiveness. He murdered a man. Granted the man did him and his family wrong in a big way but that does not excuse murder.
Thomasina Lewis May 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM
too bad that when Mr DiBernardo tried to go through the justice system to have Victor removed from the castle that same justice system failed him then and now they have failed him and his family again! 37 years for standing up for your family is excessive! What about the crimes that Victor and his wife committed against the Mr DiBernardo? When is her trial? Louie is a good man and comes from a law abiding family, Send him home to his family!
TVOR May 14, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Ask the DA why they are nopt charging his wife. As for Mr. DiBernardo, he is right where he belongs.
YYDD May 14, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Where is the $20k the DiBernado sisters conned from my friend and filed bankruptcy. The court system did not help my friend. Where is the $35K the Dibernardo sisters took from the psychologist Dr? Where is the $500K the Dibernardo sisters took from another investor who lives in De Luz hills? "It's the investment" MS DB said. Investment my ass* Dibernado family know darn well what they did with the money, but they are too narcisstic to admit anything...
Andy May 14, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Typical white-collar narcissist.
LHJ May 21, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Let's see.... Man goes to property with gun!!! (key point, indicating intent to commit crimes) Man forces entry (tenants have possession), illegal. Man puts woman in bondage (against her will), illegal. Man moves woman to another room against her will, illegal. Man lays in wait, confronting husband, fires gun at husband(doesn't matter if by accident), illegal. Victim dies (as the direct result of the gunshot), M U R D E R !!! Prison is full of people who "come from" good law abiding families. The family wasn't tried for the crimes, the member of the family who broke (CRIMINAL) law, was tried for his CRIMINAL acts. Done, over, finished, get over it...!!!
Diane Johnson May 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Nobody is living in the castle, people need to just quit spreading ridiculous rumors! A scam artist was killed and a scam artist is in jail. The system worked.
Ben Watson January 14, 2013 at 04:01 AM
So did Moses, in the Bible, under similar circumstances.
Ben Watson January 14, 2013 at 04:07 AM
This is America's criminal Justice system. Career Criminals go free, while otherwise law abiding citizens go to jail as soon as they step out of line. Did Louie go to far (way to far) yes, but did this Con Artist have it coming defiantly. I'm sure his partner, the so called "victim", is out there right now intentionally ruining people lives for her gain. As you sow so shall you reap. Justice my ass!
Ben Watson January 14, 2013 at 04:11 AM
How many people here actually met any of the Di Bernardo family? Because the rest of you don't know what the hell you are talking about. Opinionated morons with too much time on their hands. Get a life!
LHJ January 14, 2013 at 05:10 AM
yeah, looks like you're having a slow night... lol Taking a break from your own life, are ya?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »