A few years later, I was out drinking with some people, and I happened to have a gun on me. We got into an incident and ended up fighting. I brought out the gun…and then I just shot. It was just some machismo BS. But then I was sentenced for attempted murder. My paperwork said, “35 years to a life sentence for Richard Cabral.” I thought, “Oh, this really became real.”
If it wasn’t for prison, I don’t think I would be here today. It was a time for reflection about my life. I was sitting in that cell, and my mind had never been quiet before that.
My relationship with God really started to build up at that time. When I was fighting that life sentence, I asked God to help me, and I believe that he did. I realized that prison is where people die. You know, people go there, but don’t get out.
I remember seeing my first stabbing in prison. Seeing that trauma in front of my eyes… it’s something that you can’t talk about. You just have to experience it. You think that you’re a badass, but then you go into a prison yard, and there are a thousand people that are way badder than you, who have been doing this for 15-20 years more than you.
Prison was the turning point for me. I met some of the most amazing men in prison, and then I’d hear that they had been down for 20-25 years already. I just knew that if God gave me a second chance, I didn’t want to mess it up.