Saturday, May 12, 2001

Isle relatives of bombing
victim react to delay
of McVeigh execution

By Mary Adamski

A Honolulu woman whose father was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing said life imprisonment would be a more fitting punishment for Timothy McVeigh for the 168 deaths he caused.

"Because of his arrogance, his lack of remorse, they should make him live in an 8-by-10 cell to remember each day why he is there," Sonya Dallago said yesterday.

The daughter of Peter Avillanoza said the impending, now delayed, execution of McVeigh has not been a fixation in her life. "If he dies next week or whenever it happens, it's not going to bring my father back."

Her brother, Victor Avillanoza, said: "I'm frustrated not only that it's gotten delayed, but that they are glamorizing him. I think the guy is a coward and a traitor ... referring to the children (victims) as 'collateral damage.'

"I foresee this probably being delayed, knowing how his lawyers will do whatever to capitalize."

The execution, originally set for Wednesday, was postponed because of the discovery of FBI records not previously shared with McVeigh's attorneys.

Victor Avillanoza and his sister are among the 10 children of Peter Avillanoza, a former Honolulu police officer and employee of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development here. The senior Avillanoza was born in Honolulu and graduated from Kaimuki High School. He was director of HUD's fair housing and equal opportunity division in Oklahoma City. He was 57 at the time of his death.

Victor Avillanoza, who is stationed here with the Navy, said he and a brother attended McVeigh's trial in Colorado.

"I've had closure with my dad's death, once they found his body" (10 days after the bombing), he said. "We remember him as he was. We think about him all the time on his birthday and on April 19."

"I am not looking forward to this dragging out, but I think it will. It's really sad. A lot of victims' families are probably hurting. All this media coverage unfortunately will hurt a lot of people," Avillanoza said.

"As long as it's dragged on, and they haven't executed him yet. How much money is spent ... to keep him and others alive?"

Dallago said: "I am at a place where I accepted it. My dad was a Christian and so am I, and I know I will see him again. I'm not saying too bad for the pain others are feeling. Just for me, I'm moving on."

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