Murtagh requested a seven year sentence, arguing that prison will be particularly difficult for Hatcher, who suffers from medical issues related to various injuries sustained over the course of his life.
Before he was sentenced, Hatcher spoke on his own behalf, expressing remorse and taking responsibility for his actions.
“You may think my heart was full of malice, that’s certainly how I felt when I was in your shoes,” Hatcher said, directing his comments to Benston’s family. “I want to tell you that I am not that monstrous person at all.”
After taking around a half-hour recess to mull over the decision, Judge Moore sentenced Hatcher to a 10 year active sentence.
Moore said the sentence did not mean that he was finding Hatcher to be a bad person but the sentence did reflect that Hatcher had done a very bad thing. Crimes like this are often seen as being just between two people, Moore said, but are in truth community events which cause pause for decades to come.
“Throughout this hearing the word that kept coming to mind was ‘senseless,’” Moore said. “It’s sad, but it is not the only time I’ve seen a senseless tragedy like this. Two lives were wasted here. You can save some of yours, Mr. Hatcher. Mr. Benston cannot.”