LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) — An Arkansas man who fired his gun into another driver’s car and killed a 3-year-old boy in the back seat was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison without the possibility for parole.
Jurors found Gary Eugene Holmes guilty of first-degree murder and terroristic threatening in the December 2016 death of Acen King. Holmes received 45 years for the killing and five years for threats.
The boy’s grandmother says she was stopped at a stop sign in Little Rock when Holmes honked his horn, got out of his car and fired into her car. A police affidavit says a woman who was in Holmes’ car told investigators he was angry because he thought the car behind him was tailing him too closely.
Acen was shot in the back and died later that night at a hospital.
Acen’s grandmother, Kim King-Macon, said she did not know Acen had been shot until she arrived at a shopping center about 10 miles away.
Juror deliberated for fewer than 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
Gashon Bell, Acen’s mother, read aloud a statement before sentencing in which she said she has forgiven Holmes.
“As bad as I want to hate you… I just can’t,” Bell said.
Holmes’s mother said she didn’t think her son was “in his right mind” when he shot at the vehicle. She also described injuries her son sustained as a child and battles with depression.
Defense Attorney Ron Davis said Holmes plans to appeal.