SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A judge has sentenced a suspect found guilty of malice murder to life in prison for a 2015 shooting in Savannah. Hooper will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
A jury found Timone Hooper guilty of malice murder on Friday.
Hooper was found guilty on 17 counts in the death of Lawrence Bryan IV, back in August of 2015.
Over the course of the trial, jurors and the court heard what led up to the fatal shooting, according to witnesses. A long-time friend of Bryan was with him the night of Aug. 6, 2015. He testified that he and Bryan went to an apartment on the east side of Savannah to gamble.
Bryan’s friend testified that about an hour later, they both left. As they were leaving, they were ambushed by two people with guns.
Both Bryan and the man who testified Friday were shot, and they were taken to the hospital in a private car by an acquaintance, who also took the stand.
Bryan was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Hooper was found guilty on 17 counts, which includes malice murder. He was found not guilty on six counts, which including influencing a witness.
Bryan’s family had a chance to share with the court what they have gone through since the night of the murder.
“His life was cut short by a coward; a coward who actually orchestrated a robbery and an execution,” said Lawrence Bryan III, the victim’s father. “He executed my son is what he did.”
“It’s not closure. People call it closure. It’s not. And I’m not happy. I’m not even satisfied, because you can’t bring Lawrence back,” said the victim’s mother, Linda Wilder-Bryan. “None of these people can come back; none of these sons. So, we’re going to continue to fight and keep moving forward, and pray that other mothers get justice, because that’s what it’s about.”
The Bryan’s say they are disappointed that Hooper will be parole eligible after serving 30 years of that life sentence, but had this to say about that parole hearing, if and when it comes up in 30 years.
“I may not be here, and I’m praying that I’m not here to see him get an opportunity to have parole, but his son, Lawrence Bryan V will be here; my other grandkids, and every time there’s a possibility of parole, one of us, one of my seed will be there saying, 'no, never," Wilder-Bryan said. “He changed our lives forever. We want his choice to change his life forever, too. Our wish is that he is forever separated from his family. Forever. Like his choice separated Lawrence from our lives forever. We want a life for a life.”
Hooper has 30 days to appeal the guilty verdict and file a motion for a new trial.