31-year-old David Kinney will spend life plus three years in prison, ruled Judge Frank Fregiato of Belmont County Common Pleas Court.
Last week, a jury found Kinney guilty of aggravated murder in the May 7 shooting death of Brad McGarry, Kinney’s “best friend” with whom he was having a sexual relationship.
During the week-long trial, it was revealed that Kinney took his wife and stepdaughter to the scene after he killed McGarry, where he pretended to “discover” the body, and where he cried and professed his grief.
This morning, Judge Fregiato recalled the many lies that Kinney told to cover up the crime.
He said first he claimed he wasn’t there at all.
Then he claimed he was there and witnessed another man killing McGarry.
After that, he claimed Brad McGarry held a gun on him, and he grabbed it and shot McGarry only in self defense.
Kinney spoke briefly in the courtroom just before he was sentenced.
“I would like to apologize to the McGarry family for all the hurt and pain I put you through,” Kinney said. “I never meant for any of this to happen and I wish I could take it all back. I know all the apologies in the world will never bring him back but I want you to know I truly am sorry for it all.”
But Judge Fregiato said it was a cold, calculated execution and elaborate cover-up.
“The defendant preplanned to kill Brad McGarry and ambushed him at the crime scene by repeated deceptive behavior,” said Judge Fregiato. “He lured him there with promises of sex. He staged the crime scene. He staged and planned multiple, multiple things to cover this up.”
There were four possible sentences the judge could have chosen, under the law.
They all involved life in prison, but the others offered the possibility of parole after 20, 25 or 30 years in prison.
Defense Attorney Chris Gagin asked the judge to choose one of those, saying that Kinney was a “solid citizen” with no criminal record before the murder.
Prosecutor Dan Fry urged the judge to choose life without parole, because Brad McGarry is dead “and his family will carry this forever.”
McGarry’s grandmother’s fiance, Jack Bonar, told the court that Brad’s mother is so shattered by her grandson’s death that she can no longer stay alone in her home at night, and someone must be with her at all times.
Bonar recalled how Kinney wept at the scene, and how everyone consoled him for his loss before anyone realized that he was the person who had killed McGarry.
Judge Fregiato said he can not allow Kinney to be out in public ever again.