After nearly four hours of deliberation, a Denton County jury found Daniel Scott Gary guilty of murder Thursday afternoon.
Gary, 35, was charged with intentionally shooting and killing his father, William “Carl” Gary, 65, with a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun on April 9, 2011, in Bolivar, an unincorporated community in northwest Denton County.
In their closing arguments, prosecutors Michael Graves and Matt Shovlin thanked the jury for its patience in the trial and said they wanted to “keep it simple” with closing arguments. Daniel Gary had a 12 gauge shotgun and while holding it and pointing it at his father, he pulled the trigger, prosecutors said.
“Murder is when you intentionally and knowingly kill somebody,” Shovlin told the jury. “He [Gary] knew those actions would cause that result [killing him]. A shotgun’s only purpose is to kill — proper use is to kill birds and go hunting — and this purpose was to kill a father at a very close range. That is murder.”
During his closing remarks, Bruce Isaacks — Gary’s court-appointed defense attorney — said this case is an example of professionals rushing to judgment.
“The whole investigation was conducted to validate their theory [of Gary murdering his father],” Isaacks said. “They missed a 50 caliber in the truck and were just careless and sloppy out there.”
Isaacks told the jurors that Daniel Gary and his father were both drunks and that Daniel Gary is “just a pathetic shell of a little boy” who shot out of “panic and fear” and didn’t intentionally aim the gun at his father.
Once the jury deliberated and Judge Margaret Barnes accepted its verdict, the jury heard more testimony in the punishment phase.
Witnesses for both sides testified about Daniel Gary and Carl Gary’s characters.
“He [Carl Gary] was my brother and really close to me — even helping me during 2001 when I had a stroke,” said Scotty Gary.
Prosecutors entered into evidence Daniel Gary’s past criminal record, which included misdemeanor convictions such as driving while intoxicated and state jail felony convictions for possession of controlled substance and evading arrest.
Scotty Gary testified that his brother, Carl, would go to see his son nearly every Sunday when he was in prison in Jacksboro and would bring him money.
The defense brought in Daniel Gary’s maternal grandmother, Nancy Kamp, who agreed with Isaacks while on the stand that Gary might have turned out differently if he had a different type of father.
Andrea Gary, a Flower Mound teacher and Daniel Gary’s sister, told jurors her father “physically and mentally abused” her and her brother during their childhood and she did everything she could to stay away.
Punishment deliberations are expected to begin in the 367th District Court this morning.
“We are very pleased with the work done by the jury so far,” said First Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck.
“The guilty verdict to the offense of murder was exactly what we anticipated and what the evidence demanded,” Beck said. “The sentencing phase provided a broader picture for the jury of exactly who Daniel Gary is. Justice is now in their hands.”
Isaacks declined to comment until the punishment has been assessed.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .