Superior Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced Earnest E. Dailey Jr., 39, to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing Jermaine D. Little, 32.
“You killed a man and you’re going to pay the price for that,” Padgett told Dailey. To cause the damage Little suffered led the judge to believe that it was an intentional blow meant to hurt him, even if Dailey didn’t mean to kill Little, Padgett said.
Little was hit so hard it caused massive hemorrhaging in his brain and the blow left an 11-inch skull fracture, Assistant District Attorney Adam Land reminded the jury in his closing statement Wednesday. At 6 feet, 7 inches and 270 pounds, Dailey was more than capable of causing such damage, Land said.
Little died three days after he was struck Feb. 1, 2012.
He was just steps away from the front door of Paul’s IGA on Greene Street when – three witnesses testified this week – Dailey hit Little in the back of the head with a wooden stick, possibly a chair leg.
Little never had a chance, his aunt, Lucille McGee, said Wednesday after the jury’s verdict. But McGee said the Little family’s sorrow would not give way to vengeance.
“You still can be forgiven,” McGee told Dailey. “You have to talk to the Lord.”
McGee encouraged Dailey to spend his years in prison contemplating the answers she said God can provide to those who ask.
“We’ll be praying for you,” she told him.