GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A man has been sentenced to more than 37 years in prison for a deadly shooting outside a Grand Rapids restaurant that occurred amid a fistfight involving several combatants.
Shaquille Lamar Bunting, 22, appeared in Kent County Circuit Court Tuesday to be sentenced in the March 22, 2015 murder of Terence Javon Hollis.
A Kent County jury last month convicted him of second-degree murder for shooting the man he believed struck his sister inside the Chicken Coop restaurant on South Division Avenue at Hall Street.
Bunting apologized for the death of Hollis, 32, but did not admit responsibility.
“I don’t believe that justice was served because it was not actually verified that I was the one that actually did it,’’ Bunting said. “I do want to say that I am sorry for the loss because it is sad.’’
Defense attorney Jeffrey Kirchhoff asked that Bunting be sentenced on the low end of recommended guidelines, which called for a minimum term of about 19 to 39 years.
“The fight was going on in the parking lot long before he ever went out there to see what was going on, suspecting that his sister was involved,’’ Kirchhoff said.
A crowd gathered at the Chicken Coop after a nearby bar closed at 2 a.m. Chaos ensued when a fight broke out between two men.
“As soon as those two men squared off and began exchanging blows, the restaurant erupted into a chaotic jumble of flying fists,’’ Johnston said.
The fight moved into the parking lot and Bunting, believing that his sister was stuck by Hollis, “went out after Hollis,’’ the judge said.
“You engaged in some kind of a fight with him and others and then placed a handgun against his back and discharged what was called by the medical examiner a contact wound,’’ Johnston said in reviewing facts of the case.
“You expressed to others you shot him because he had struck your sister,’’ Johnston said.
He sentenced Bunting to between 37-½ and 75 years in prison for second degree murder. That term will begin once Bunting finishes a mandatory two-year sentence for a felony firearm conviction.
(© 2016 WZZM)