SENTENCE | Jury recommends sentence for man convicted of I-71 road rage murder
Prosecutors had asked that Chris McCullum spend the rest of his life in prison. The defense wanted him to be locked up for only 20 years.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One day after a jury found a man guilty of murder in the case of a road rage shooting, that same jury recommended a sentence of 60 years in prison.
The Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney's office had asked that Chris McCullum spend the rest of his life in prison. The defense wanted him to be locked up for only 20 years.
The jury's recommended sentence included 50 years for murder, five years for tampering with evidence and five years for wanton endangerment. Those are to be served consecutively, and McCullum will be eligible for parole after 20 years.
"We disagree with the jury's decision obviously, but we respect it," said McCullum's attorney, Erin Melchior. "We know Chris is very remorseful."
McCullum convicted of killing Mukhtar Ahmed on Tuesday. It happened in 2015 while both men were driving on I-71.
McCullum's defense attorney said he was having delusions while driving and thought there was a legitimate threat to his life, but prosecutors disputed the extent of McCullum's delusions, citing a doctor's evaluation indicating that he tended to exaggerate the symptoms.
His lawyers said he was also high and drunk when the shooting happened.
On Wednesday in court, McCullum took the stand, giving an emotional apology to the family.
"I'm sorry," McCullum said. "I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart that I took your husband away, that I took your children's father away. There's no way to replace that."
"I'm not asking for a miserable life," said Shamy Nabil, Ahmed's wife. "I'm not asking for death. I just want to make sure that I'm safe, my kids are safe and that he's not going to cause harm again on someone else."
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