Last Modified: Saturday, July 28, 2012 8:28 PM
Bryce Perkins was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday.
The sentence is mandatory with a conviction of second-degree murder, of which Perkins was found guilty for the July 5, 2009, shooting death of Daniel Gueringer, a Marine home on leave.
“(Gueringer’s) absence from our family gatherings has been heartbreaking for all of us,” his mother, Sandra Gueringer, told the court.
She said Perkins had a choice when he loaded the gun, chambered a bullet and pulled the trigger.
She said she will not forget the look on her father’s face when he arrived at the court and asked her, “Why, why did they do this?”
Perkins expressed remorse when he addressed the court: “I’d do anything in the world to change things. I’m just so sorry they had to lose their son. I wish things would have went differently that night.”
He also said that whether or not people believe it was an accident, it doesn’t take away the hurt.
Judge Ron Ware said he is convinced Perkins is remorseful, but he’s also convinced that families’ lives have been torn apart.
“I take no pleasure in doing this,” Ware said when handing down the sentence.
Perkins was convicted in February 2011, but in April of that year Ware reduced the charge to manslaughter, saying Perkins didn’t have the specific intent to kill or harm Gueringer. Ware sentenced Perkins to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors appealed Ware’s decision, and the second-degree murder verdict was reinstated by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in March.
The 3rd Circuit said firing into a crowd, which Perkins did when he killed Gueringer, represented specific intent.
“This chapter of this saga has closed,” Ware said.
Posted By: Tisha On: 7/27/2012
I am glad that the Gueringers have some closure and that this long lenghty trial is over and the sentencing is done so they can go on with their lives and not have to relive this nightmare. My heart goes out to them. Our family will always have them in our thoughts and prayers.