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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 15th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 32

Timothy McNally is convicted of murder

By AMY ASMAN

A Santa Maria jury convicted former Lompoc prison guard Timothy McNally of second-degree murder on Oct. 10. This was the second jury trial for McNally, who shot and killed Gary Bent, a friend and fellow prison guard, in a Lompoc hotel room last year. The jury also tacked on an enhancement charge for using a gun to commit a deadly crime.

McNally faces 25 years to life in prison—15 years to life for murder and an additional 10 years for the gun enhancement.

Jurors in the first trial deadlocked over the verdict earlier this year, prompting Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly to call a mistrial.

According to trial testimony, McNally shot Bent in the neck with a 9-millimeter handgun while they were in the bathroom of their Embassy Suites hotel room. The men had been drinking all day following a training seminar, and toxicology reports also found bath salts in their systems.

Defense attorney Michael Scott argued in both trials that the shooting was “a horrible accident.” However, the jury sided with the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens.

McNally’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 13 in Santa Maria.