Perkins murder verdict changed by judge

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was expected to be the day when Bryce Perkins would be sentenced to life in prison for Second Degree Murder of Marine Daniel Gueringer. Instead, Judge Ron Ware acquitted Perkins of murder and substituted a verdict of manslaughter.

The judge finds that there was not adequate evidence that Perkins had specific intent to kill or cause great bodily harm to Daniel Gueringer, killed at a Fourth of July party in 2009.

Perkins was sentenced to 30 years in prison on the manslaughter charge.

Assistant District Attorney Rick Bryant says in 35 years of prosecuting cases he has never seen a judge do this and will appeal the judge's ruling.

Family members and friends of Daniel Gueringer,  gasped when they heard the judges decision to change the verdict.  Many were sobbing as the court proceeding continued.  They are outraged.

Watch for more on this story on later editions of 7News.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.