LANCASTER – A 26-year-old Lancaster man was sentenced Thursday to 26 years to life in state prison for using a hunting bow and arrow to kill a man in 2014.
Garrett Taylor Adams was convicted in May 22 of first-degree murder for the Aug. 23, 2014, killing of 27-year-old Charles Briggs of Lancaster.
Adams was arguing with his then-girlfriend at a home in the 43000 block of 27th Street West when his brother and Briggs arrived, and Briggs tried to intervene, authorities said shortly after the killing.
Adams went back inside his house, retrieved a compound bow and razor-tipped broadhead hunting arrow and struck Briggs in the chest, according to the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.
“Briggs can be heard screaming on a recorded video of the incident that was captured by a party-goer at a neighbor’s house. Defendant is heard on the video to utter the words, `That’s what you get, homey’ and `I should shoot with you with my gun, homey,’ and can be seen moving in the opposite direction from the victim,” according to the sentencing memorandum.
The unarmed victim [Briggs] walked southbound on 27th Street, collapsed some distance away and died at a hospital about six hours later, according to the prosecution.
“Defendant was outside his own home, some distance away, staring down an unarmed man while armed with a deadly weapon and under no immediate threat from the victim,” according to the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.
Adams’ attorney, Steve Meister, countered, “It was an accident.”
Meister contended that Adams armed himself in self-defense and “accidentally released the arrow.”
Meister said he objected to the prosecution’s request to instruct jurors on the theory of felony murder under which his client was convicted, with jurors rejecting the prosecution’s other theory — premeditated murder.
“He (the judge) should not have allowed the jury to consider the felony murder-mayhem theory. That’s going to be the basis for Mr. Adams’ appeal,” the defense attorney said.
Adams — who surrendered to the first patrol car to arrive at the scene — was acquitted of charges stemming from the alleged early morning run-in with his then-girlfriend, Meister said.
In an interview with The AV Times in 2014, grieving family members described Briggs as a loving son and brother who protected the women in his family.
“I raised him to take care of his sisters, and any injustice that he saw, he would speak up…” said Briggs’ father, Charlie.
Editor’s note: Earlier story updated to include additional details from City News Service.
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