(Phoenix, Arizona) – The office of County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced the sentencing of Jacob Samia (DOB 03/88) to life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years. On May 2, 2023, a 12-member jury found Samia guilty of five counts including one felony count of first-degree murder, one felony count of burglary, one felony count of kidnapping, one felony count of burglary in the third degree, and one misdemeanor count of criminal damage.
In October of 2020, the victim, Frank Bernal, was sleeping his home when he was attacked and murdered by Samia. Bernal was a Vietnam War veteran.
“I saw the strangulation marks on his neck, and it was really hard to see my brother that way. Frank survived the attacks in the jungles of Vietnam but he did not survive the brutal attack in the sanctity of his own home,” said Andy Bernal, brother of Frank Bernal.
“My brother was my hero growing up. Our brother was a role model for our entire family. He was always there for all of us,” said Conrad Bernal in a victim impact statement.
“Frank Bernal was the definition of an American hero. He was attacked in the peace of his home where he was brutally beaten, strangled and killed,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “The crime perpetrated on Mr. Bernal has left a lasting impact on his immediate family, friends, the neighborhood where Mr. Bernal lived and the community of Gilbert.”