It's been about a year and a half since the strange tale of a gymgoer who allegedly beat a fellow exercise enthusiast to death in front of a crowd at a Bally Total Fitness in South San Francisco. This week, the accused man finally made his plea in the case — and blamed steroids for the rage that overcame him as he killed a popualr area butcher.
It was September 17, 2014, when then-46-year-old Kenneth Osako walked up behind 44-year-old Diego Galindo and struck him on the head several times with "a solid steel bar, normally used to lift weights," South SF police said at the time.
Galindo was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, but died of his injuries the next day. According to Bay City News, Galindo was "a popular butcher at Carniceria Tepa on Linden Avenue," and his "death drew numerous messages of mourning and anger from the South San Francisco community."
Following the attack, "Osako dropped the steel bar and left the scene," police say, and was arrested the following morning. He pled "not guilty" at that time, and was ordered to stand trial.
This Tuesday, however, Osako agreed to plead no contest to second-degree murder, Bay City News reports.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, that charge carries a minimum sentence of 15 years to life, and Osako will receive "no more than 17 years to life" at his sentencing hearing on April 25.
Osako's attorney Steven Chase says that the issue between the two men began after a brief encounter in the locker room, when he says Galindo spoke to Osako in Spanish.
Osako, who is not fluent in Spanish, believed that he heard the word "fight," which sent him into a "'roid rage," Chase says.
“He feels horrible, he killed basically an innocent man because he was so wired up from using steroids and a little bit of methamphetamine that he wasn’t thinking clearly,” Chase says.
Osako, who Chase told BCN "was once a munitions expert in the U.S. Army and recently had been working as a plumber...has four daughters and a son ranging from their teens to their early 20s who he doted on, and now he feels awful that he took Galindo from his family."
“It’s just a tragedy what steroids can do to somebody, and a life has been taken because of it,” Chase says.
“That’s something he’s going to have to live with for the rest of his life.”