FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A Loveland man who was convicted of killing his 75-year-old neighbor in June 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Reporter-Herald reports 39-year-old Eric Gray was sentenced Thursday shortly after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the death of Gerald Donovan, who was shot with an AK-47 rifle.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said deputies put their lives on the line to try and rescue the Donovan, who was still alive at the time.
Neighbors told CBS4 they heard one shot and raced for cover, and even grabbed Donovan’s wife to protect her. They hid until the suspect was in custody.
Police said Gray and Donovan had been involved in a land dispute for a long time.
The defense called witnesses who testified that Gray’s mental illness and paranoia contributed to the shooting. A judge had found him competent to stand trial after a mental health evaluation.
During closing statements on Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Jenny Ellison reminded jurors a psychiatrist testified that despite Gray’s delusions, he was still capable of making decisions and that he intended to kill Donovan.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)