A 27-year-old parole officer who killed the owner of a Mexican restaurant in South Wichita last year will serve a life sentence plus 15 months, according to Dan Dillon, a spokesman for the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office.
Adrian N. Zongker fatally shot 42-year-old Oscar Acosta of Wichita on January 14, 2021 outside Birrieria Tito, 2815 S. Hydraulic restaurant after he was caught rummaging through a trash can in the store and was told to leave. Wichita Police said when Zongker refused to stop, Acosta took the trash can outside.
While they were outside, Zongker pulled out a pistol and fired once, hitting Acosta in the chest, police said.
Acosta died after stumbling back into his restaurant and yelling at family and customers to take shelter from the shooter, according to a probable cause affidavit released by the court.
Zongker pleaded no contest to a charge of criminal possession of a gun by a criminal in April, court filings show, but denied committing first-degree first-degree murder.
A jury subsequently found Zongker guilty of murder at his trial in May, records show.
Sedgwick County District Judge Seth Rundle Friday afternoon ordered Zongker to serve a suspended sentence of life after 50 years on Acosta’s murder and 15 months on a weapons charge, Dillon said. Zongker must serve the sentences consecutively or back-to-back, meaning he will not be released from prison for at least 51 years.
Zongker’s attorney had asked the judge to cut the life sentence in half from 50 to 25 years – explaining in a written motion that Zongker “has a long history of mental impairment” and likely killed Acosta “on a sudden impulse” rather than with intent . But the judge denied that request.