Quentin Patrick will spend at least the next 16 years in prison because the convicted drug dealer, paranoid of being robbed, answered a Halloween knock on his door with a barrage of bullets from an AK-47, killing a 12-year-old South Carolina boy.
But the 16-year, eight-month sentence handed down Monday was just 20 months more than the minimum Patrick could have faced after pleading guilty to a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon.
"We wanted to see a life sentence, or at least something more than this," said Daphne Grinnell, who was in the family van when the shooting broke out Halloween 2008 and tried in vain to save her dying son T.J., hit by 11 bullets.
But Patrick still faces murder and assault charges in state court, and prosecutor Kelly Jackson said he will decide what to do about that case later. Jackson said Patrick could face 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder.
The shooter, Quentin Patrick, expressed remorse for the incident but claimed he is not a murderer. What's your opinion? Is it right to charge someone with murder for killing a person they think is there to rob them? Isn't this what all the pro-gun folks are always demanding as their right, the stand-your-ground right?
Or does the fact that he was a convicted felon still selling drugs make all the difference? If these rights we keep hearing about are "inalienable," shouldn't they apply to everyone, even the bad guys? Shouldn't everyone have the right to protect themselves in their own home?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.