Father disappointed in sentence for son's killer

September 7, 2012 2:46:05 PM PDT
The father of a man shot and killed by his friend told ABC11 that he believes his son's convicted killer got off too easy.

Stefan Gudac was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter last month for the 2010 death of 20-year-old Devin Barber. Gudac admitted to gunning down Devin Barber.

Darrell Barber is still in shock two weeks after the verdict.

Devin Barber was an Eagle Scout. Gudac was an Iraqi War veteran.

On a November night in 2010 in Gudac's front yard, the military man gunned down the Eagle Scout, and then called 911.

Caller: "I told him to leave a few times, He... uh... I put my hands on him. He wouldn't leave. So, I had to shoot him."  

911: "You said you shot him?"  

Caller: "I shot him several times."

With that recorded confession prosecutors tried Gudac for first-degree murder.

However, two weeks ago a jury decided Gudac was guilty only of voluntary manslaughter and he was sentenced to just over five years in prison.

"I couldn't believe it... just in total shock when the verdict came down to manslaughter," said Darrell Barber.

Darrell Barber and his family and friends wore wristbands during the trial that simply red "Justice for Devin," but he said that's not what Devin got.

"Second degree would have been much, much better," said Barber. "Yeah, it would have been much better even though I thought first would have been appropriate."

Now, Gudac could be out of jail by the age of 30.

"A chance to get out and live a full life, get married, have kids and his life will go on," said Barber. "I guess I'm a little bitter about that, that Devin won't ever get that chance."

Devin was shot to death in Pine Level.

The fact that Gudac's father is a Pine Level town commissioner has always bothered Barber and it's raised a lot of eyebrows in Johnston County.

The verdict didn't help to dispel any of those concerns, but there's no undoing the jury's decision.

"It's already done," said Barber. "There's nothing we can do about it. We won't get another trial."

Gudac's attorney said he understands the frustrations of a father, and said the case is tragic and upsetting, but added that he doesn't think it arose to more than manslaughter.

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