The verdict for Brandon Richardson came four days after jurors were selected in the felony murder trial.
The jury found Richardson shot and killed 22-year old Brice Bennett during a bar fight at Neal’s Hideaway on October 23rd, 2011. Several shots were fired but a bullet from a .22 caliber piston went into Bennett’s back.
The prosecution recommended a much harder punishment but the jury accepted the recommendations from the defense team who argued for the lighter sentence.
Attorney Bill Juvrud asserted that anything over 20 years would not be just because of the circumstances of the shooting.
Richardson took the stand himself and told jurors he only remembered firing shots into the air and when people told him that night he had shot Bennett, he did not believe them.
Juvrud told the jury during final arguments that while Richardson’s actions were ‘stupid’ there was an absence of intent that could not be overlooked.
Jurors spent about three and a half hours deliberating the punishment. Richardson was facing up to 99 years in prison. He will also have to pay a $10,000 fine.