ALBANY -- Four years after the shooting death of Herbert "Herby" Wells, 31-year-old Earl Randolph Scott was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole and two additional life sentences for his involvement in the January 2006 incident that led to Wells' death.
Scott, who was facing the death penalty for the death of Wells, accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to felony murder in exchange for the possibility of a life sentence, said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.
Scott was convicted of murder, felony murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of possession of firearm during the commission of certain crimes and aggravating circumstances.
Before announcing Scott's sentence, Judge Loring Gray told the defendant that he believed the evidence suggested that Scott deliberately killed Wells during the Jan. 14, 2006, robbery of A.J.'s Dixie Food Store on the 1400 block of East Broad Avenue.
"It was not a warning shot; it was an execution," Gray said during the early afternoon sentencing hearing, alluding to the defendant's statements that he had no intention of murdering Wells.
Edwards said that because Scott pleaded guilty to the charges and waived his right to trial by jury, the case cannot be appealed and that Scott will serve his time.
According to Edwards, surveillance video from the convenience store that captured the 2006 incident and which was reviewed by Gray strongly suggested that Scott meant to kill Wells.
"The incident was videotaped and it (the video) included all the sounds and dialogue that happened," said the district attorney.
Edwards said the videotape shows Scott shooting the convenience store owner Greg Patel in the knee and then shooting Wells in the head.
"Mr. Scott pulls the trigger and then you hear a click. The gun misfired and then he (Scott) adjusted the gun and shot and killed Mr. Wells,"
Edwards said. "There was no reason for Herby Wells' death. It was a cruel and useless death."
Family members of Wells said after suffering from the gunshot wound to his head, Wells died three weeks later in the hospital.
In a letter that Scott wrote to the court, he asked for forgiveness for the crimes that he committed and urged the court to grant mercy on him during sentencing.
"I had no intention of shooting Mr. Herbert Wells. I am sorry for all the pain, suffering, and the loss that I have caused the Wells family ... ," Scott wrote. "Spending over 22 1/2 hours in a cell everyday on maxium (sic) security lock down has given me the chance and the time to think about life."
Members of Scott's defense team declined to comment on the case after the sentencing.
Wells' younger brother, Hulen "Charlie" Wells, said he was pleased with the sentencing and that justice was served in the matter of his brother's death.
"You do the crime and you pay the time and I think he (Scott) just figured that out," Wells said during an interview with an Albany Herald reporter. "It's too late to be crying about it. I do feel sorry for his family and my family, too. We have both lost someone now."
Members of the Wells family that were in attendance at Monday's sentencing hearing said they are grateful to the people of Albany and the district attorney's office for pursuing the case.