An Arkansas man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing a toddler after he fired his gun into a car during a fit of road rage.
Gary Eugene Holmes, 34, was sentenced on Wednesday in a Pulaski County courtroom, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The jury deliberated about 23 minutes before finding him guilty of first-degree murder and committing a terroristic act.
The incident happened in December of 2016, just a week shy of Christmas. 3-year-old Acen King was in the backseat of a car with his brother Alijah, and his grandmother Kim King-Macon was driving.
The grandmother told police she was stopped at a stop sign on her way to do some Christmas shopping in Little Rock when Holmes honked his horn at her, got out of his car, and fired his gun.
A woman in the car with Holmes told police he was mad because the grandmother was following him too closely.
He let the car pass before getting out of his car at the stop sign and firing the weapon.
Then he said, “That’s what you get for following me around,” the woman in the car with Holmes told police, according to the AP.
Acen was shot in the back, but he didn't make a sound. King-Macon did not know her grandson had been killed until 20 minutes later, when she parked and tried to get him out of the carseat. He was slumped over.
The bullet went through the trunk of the car and severed the boy's spine, damaging his lungs and heart before exiting out his chest, according to medical testimony in court.
Before Circuit Judge Barry Sims handed down the 50-year sentence, he allowed Holmes to address the court. Holmes spoke directly to the slain child's family in the audience, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
"I take full responsibility," he said. "I hope y'all forgive me."
Holmes will be 83 years old when he completes his sentence.
[Photo: Pulaski County Sheriff's Office]