WARNER ROBINS — An Elko man was sentenced to 10 years probation to include 90 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 90 days in connection with the accidental shooting death of his best friend, attorneys said.
Garell White, 48, was sentenced Wednesday in Superior Court after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct in the 2009 death of Luke Jackson Jr., 77, said Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Jason Ashford.
Judge Katherine K. Lumsden also sentenced White to electronic monitoring, which can detect alcohol consumption through the skin, for 90 days, said White’s attorney, Jeff Grube of Warner Robins.
The sentence included conditions of no alcohol, no firearms and an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
A mandate for six months in a detention center designed for substance abuse treatment was suspended upon completion of the 90 days of monitoring and AA meetings.
“The sentence is firm and fair,” Grube said.
He noted the sentence was far from a slap on the wrist.
Should White violate his probation, he could face a revocation of his sentence for up to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Should White successfully complete all the terms of his probation, the probation could be terminated early after six years, Grube said.
White’s sentence also included a mental evaluation in six months. Grube noted the shooting was not only traumatic for the victim’s family but also for White because the victim was his “closest, very best friend.”
Several members of the victim’s family testified Wednesday in Superior Court on behalf of White, Grube said.
The victim was the uncle of White’s wife, Grube said.
Jackson was shot once in the thigh about lunchtime on June 30, 2009, in the yard of his home at 1101 Feagin Mill Road in Houston County, police said. Jackson, White and two other mutual friends were drinking beer and liquor, police said.
White was handling a loaded gun while drinking, Ashford said. The semi-automatic handgun was discharged twice by White, with one bullet striking Jackson, police said.
Jackson was taken to the Houston Medical Center, police said. Jackson “bled out” from his injuries, Ashford said.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.