Ronnie Berrian will spend the rest of his life in prison for gunning down a man in the middle of a street after a momentary exchange of words.
At the conclusion of his two-day trial in Richmond County Superior Court, a jury convicted Berrian, 29, of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
For the Oct. 10, 2012, shooting death of 66-year-old Russell Boyd, Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced Berrian to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This was one of those cases that shows how twisted things can become in mere moments, Padgett said. “I’m convinced we’ll never know the truth, the whole truth,” Padgett said of what happened that fatal morning.
Berrian claimed self-defense in the Camille Street shooting, but one eyewitness testified Monday that Berrian shot Boyd as the older man stood in the street with his hands in the air.
Assistant District Attorney Titus Nichols said Tuesday that they had tried to resolve Berrian’s case without trial. Because Boyd’s family had to go through the stress and grief of reliving Boyd’s death through the trial, Nichols asked the judge to impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Defense attorney Omeeka Loggins of the public defender’s office asked the judge to consider that Berrian had no history of violence and his only prior felony conviction was for theft. She asked for a sentence of life with the possibility of parole.