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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 17th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 41 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 41

A former Lompoc prison guard will go behind bars


Timothy McNally, 33, was sentenced Dec. 11 to 25 years to life in prison for murdering his friend Gary Bent in a Lompoc hotel room. A Santa Maria jury in October found McNally, a former guard at the Lompoc Penitentiary, guilty of second-degree murder with use of a firearm. This was McNally’s second trial; the first resulted in a hung jury.

McNally shot and killed Bent on March 8, 2011, at the Embassy Suites in Lompoc after several days of drinking and snorting “bath salts.” Bent, a federal correctional officer from Victorville, was in town for a training session at the Lompoc prison. According to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, bath salts have stimulant effects similar to methamphetamine.

When asked to comment on the outcome of the second trial, Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens said, “I liked my second jury more. There were a lot more people in this jury with firearms experience who realized there was a significant lapse in the way [McNally] handled the firearm that night.”