PHOENIX -- As the sun set this Christmas Eve, candles flickered at a memorial for two boys lost just one year ago.
The deaths shattered the festive holiday spirit in this Southwest Phoenix neighborhood.
"The whole community was in shock," Juan Guzman said. "After that, nobody turned on the Christmas lights. Everything was really somber."
Seven-year-old Jesse Casillas-Ramirez and 10-year-old Edwin Pellecier were attacked in a neighborhood park near 91st Avenue and Elwood.
The young boys were beaten to death with a baseball bat two days before Christmas.
Police say a man living just a few doors down from the park, Joe Gallegos, was behind the beatings.
This Christmas, the neighborhood is still reeling.
"It's very terrible what happened, especially so close to Christmas," Guzman said. "And it was horrible on their families. It was just a terrible thing to happen."
Neighbors say they will forever remember the young boys and hold a special place for them every year.
"Year after year, they are probably going to come and set up a memorial," Guzman said.
Gallegos remains behind bars where he continues to undergo a series of psychiatric evaluations. His trial is set to begin this coming June.
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