Hezron Parks, 21, was found guilty of shooting Capt. Kyle Brayer in the head in February 2018. The 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran died at a hospital.
Family members of both Parks and Brayer spoke at the sentencing hearing, FOX10 Phoenix reported.
“Your Honor, what can I tell you about the greatest man I ever knew?" said Gloria Brayer, Brayer's mother. "Kyle was my only son. I was so proud of who he was, what he stood for and what he had accomplished in his short life. He loved his family, friends and his community. He was the good guy."
Carrie Lyke, Brayer’s ex-wife, recounted how Brayer volunteered to deploy to the Middle East in the place of another Marine who had four kids because “he felt he didn’t have much to lose” in comparison.
Parks’ brother, Michael Parks Jr, said his brother wasn’t a bad person and that what occurred the night of the shooting “will always be a nightmare.”
Brayer had been riding on the back of a golf cart with several other people heading to Civic Center Plaza in Scottsdale at 2:30 a.m. when Parks bumped the cart with his red Scion coupe, police said at the time. Brayer left the cart and confronted Parks on the driver’s side window when he was shot in the head.
He loved his family, friends and his community. He was the good guy.
The defense maintained that Parks fired in self-defense against a drunken Brayer, the Arizona Republic reported. Prosecutors alleged it was Parks who was drunk and provoked Brayer.
The sentencing faced a delay last month when a juror claimed the guilty verdict was coerced, FOX10 reported. Judge George Foster ultimately upheld the verdict.
Parks was sentenced to an additional two years in prison, for a total of 22 years, for other crime-related convictions, the station reported.