Bryce Perkins guilty of second degree murder

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA.(KPLC) - The verdict is in and it's guilty-- Bryce Perkins is guilty of second murder of Daniel Gueringer-- the young marine shot to death at a 4th of July party 2009. Yet even those for whom it's a victory admit it's a tragic case where no one wins. The jury was out a little more than four hours when they had a verdict. The vote was ten to two-- not unanimous but still sufficient to convict.

District attorney John DeRosier says the verdict is appropriate, still. "This is a good example of so many cases we have these days that are senseless losses of children. This is so devastating to both of these families and I'm going to tell you, first of all that justice has been served today. But sometimes justice is tough."

When the verdict was read there were people sobbing on both sides--Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon says no one wins here. "This young man's going to spend the rest of his life in jail. And that's the accountability that he is now held to on that night of stupidity. The whole thing was stupid. Truly. So, nobody wins. You've got two families that are shattered. They'll never be the same."

If there's anything youth can take away from the tragedy Dixon says it's to be responsible. "I just see it constantly on a daily basis. They're getting younger, they're getting more violent. There's a lack of respect. There's a lack of respect for authority. There's a lack of discipline. So, I guess my comments are to the youth. 'Hey, you have to be responsible. And you are going to be held accountable. So, when you go into a situation that you feel is going to get out of hand, leave. Get away from it. It's very simple. Don't put yourself in harms way."

And DeRosier warns against anyone allowing strong emotions escalate into criminal behavior. "We will not tolerate any attempt to harass or intimidate any of our witnesses or families involved in this case. whether it be in person, by telephone, by Internet. We will have law enforcement monitoring Internet transmissions."

A conviction of second degree murder brings mandatory life in prison. Formal sentencing is April 21st.

We spoke to Sandra Gueringer tonight. She says quote, "We are not happy a young man will be separated from his family but we do believe this verdict proves that our community will not tolerate such violence as that which took the life of our son, Daniel Cole Gueringer."

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