A Denton County jury sentenced a man to 40 years in prison Friday for the shooting death of his father.
Daniel Scott Gary, 35, was convicted Thursday of the murder of his father, 65-year-old William “Carl” Gary, with a 12-gauge shotgun in their family barn in Bolivar on April 9, 2011.
Before jurors began considering a sentence, attorneys made final closing arguments.
Carl Gary was an honorable man who served in the armed forces, worked nearly 20 years with the Denton Record-Chronicle and was a father of two children, Daniel and Andrea, prosecutor Michael Graves said.
Prosecutor Matt Shovlin was not in court Friday because of personal reasons.
“William did nothing in this life to excuse the fact that Daniel took his life,” Graves said to the court. “This isn’t an act from one stranger to another; it’s a son that took the life of his father.”
Defense attorney Bruce Isaacks argued for a lesser sentence, saying that Daniel Gary had good reason for the pent-up anger toward his father.
“He [William “Carl” Gary] was killed by a son he spent a lifetime abusing,” Isaacks said. “I ask you to assess the sentence to 15 years.”
More than an hour passed before the jury came back with a sentence.
The jury assessed no fine and sentenced Gary to 40 years in prison.
A man sentenced to 40 years in prison has to serve half his sentence before being eligible for parole, according to authorities working the case.
“We feel that the 40-year sentence reached by the jury this morning was appropriate, given the evidence,” Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said on behalf of the prosecuting attorneys shortly after the sentence was given.
“Carl Gary was a brother, father and friend. This was a heinous, senseless act. No one can ever imagine a son killing his own father. It is so sad that often times our biggest threats live in our own household.”
Isaacks, a former Denton County district attorney, said his client might appeal.
“My client has 30 days to make an appeal, and I suspect he will do so,” Isaacks said. “If he makes an appeal, it would go to the [Texas State Second Court of Appeals, in Fort Worth], and if they can’t hear it, it will be sent off to another one of the 14 appellate courts here in Texas.”
Isaacks, on behalf of his client, said he feels this was a manslaughter case.
“He was emotionally and physically abused by his father his entire life,” Isaacks said after the trial.
Gary’s trial was held before Judge Margaret Barnes in 367th District Court.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.