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5:23 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Prison now McGee's home for the rest of his life

Golden Valley man receives natural life with no parole for murder of Billy Carlton Jr.

KINGMAN - With what Mohave County Judge James E. Chavez described as serious mental health issues, Jack Darrell McGee was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

McGee, 24, was sentenced Tuesday to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Billy Dewayne Carlton Jr.

Carlton's grandmother, Mary Rowe, was emotionally distraught as she addressed the court prior to sentencing.

"There is no way I'll ever believe the vicious crime you committed was because you were insane at the time," Rowe said. "Your evil actions have created far-reaching effects with my family."

McGee was also sentenced to the presumptive sentence of 15 years for aggravated assault on Billy Dewayne Carlton Sr. and Jim Neal McGee, which will be served consecutively to the life sentence.

McGee was sentenced to the presumptive term of 10 years six months for the drive-by shooting, which will be served consecutively to the life sentence and the aggravated assault sentences.

He will serve 10 years six months for discharging a firearm at a residence concurrently with the drive-by shooting sentence.

McGee received 676 days credit for time already served.

Thirty percent of his earnings in prison will go to pay back the more than $11,000 in restitution he was ordered to pay by the court.

The other sentences would become relevant if the life sentence was overturned by an appellate court

Chavez cited McGee suffering from a serious mental illness and lack of an adult record as mitigating factors. He cited the three aggravated assaults, one of which resulted in a death, at one location and the separate offenses as aggravating factors.

Defense attorney Carlene Lacy before sentencing argued motions for a new trial, a mental health evaluation and continuation of the judgment and sentencing hearing.

Lacy argued that McGee may become a threat due to his mental illness and should be held in the state mental hospital until he was deemed sane and sentenced to prison at that time.

"This would fulfill, in my mind, everyone's expectations," Lacy said. "Jack Darrell McGee will never step foot out of the system again."

Lacy went on to request a new trial because she argued juror No. 6 committed perjury by omission. During the trial, the juror was dismissed after admitting he had a daughter who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and spent time in the corrective system following a double-murder.Lacy argued he might have tainted the other jurors before being dismissed.

Chavez denied all motions, saying he felt the jury had found McGee legally sane and that the dismissed juror was properly removed when the information was revealed.

The jury found McGee guilty and sane on June 8.

During the weeklong trial, prosecutor Greg McPhillips presented evidence that on Oct. 4, 2005, McGee drove to the residence in the 5700 block of Abrigo Drive and briefly talked to the victim before shooting him in the heart and leg, killing him.

McGee then opened fire on Carlton Sr. and Jim McGee, who were also in the yard at the time. Firing 18 rounds and reloading a clip into his gun after shooting Carlton Jr., Jack hit Jim in the wrist and elbow, missing Carlton Sr.

McGee then left the scene, driving to Davis Dam to dispose of the gun used in the shooting, but he still kept his other gun in his possession. Bullhead City Police stopped McGee near the dam.

McGee later admitted to investigators he dumped the gun used in the incident over the dam. McGee also admitted to shooting at the three men during the interview, as well as shooting at a residence he thought Carlton Jr. was at July 15.

During interviews, McGee told detectives he killed Carlton Jr. because voices in his head told him to do it.

Lacy said as an alleged paranoid schizophrenic, McGee imagined an elaborate gang rape that he thought was real. She added McGee said he heard voices saying he must kill Carlton Jr., who he imagined as one of the individuals involved with the rape. She didn't dispute McGee's guilt, rather his sanity.

McGee will have 20 days to appeal the decision and 90 days to assert his postconviction rights.