Joel David Searcy was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for his conviction of manslaughter and robbery in the 2013 death of Donald "Leroy" Cook, 82.
Searcy, 32, will be eligible for parole in about 13 years, defense attorney Tom Griffiths said.
During his sentencing, Searcy told Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark, "I am sorry for anything that I've caused. I affected a lot of lives that day ... And I'm sorry for it."
In April, a jury found Searcy guilty of second-degree manslaughter, first-degree robbery, five counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment and one count of leaving an accident and failing to render aid or assistance.
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Griffiths said Searcy's case will be the subject of a BBC television documentary. A television crew for the British company recorded the trial as part of a broader look at death-penalty cases in the United States. Searcy did not receive the death penalty.
On Aug. 1, 2013, Searcy drove a woman's vehicle, with four children inside, "aimlessly and somewhat recklessly" for about two hours, court documents said.
The vehicle was eventually involved in a collision. Searcy drove away, stopped at Sixth Street and Headley Avenue, and then ran as the woman took the keys and began looking for help, the documents said. She later told police that she and the four children had been kidnapped by Searcy. The woman and Searcy were acquaintances.
At North Broadway and Loudon Avenue, Searcy tried to take Cook's car. Witnesses said they saw the men fighting in the vehicle before stopping at the PDQ Market at 400 New Circle Road and Meadow Lane.
People saw Searcy trying to throw Cook's oxygen tank out the window while Cook was trying to get out of the vehicle and escape. Searcy was seen standing over Cook while Cook was lying on the ground, and then Searcy ran away. Bystanders tackled Searcy and held him until police arrived. Cook later died at St. Joseph Hospital.
Searcy "got twisted up in drugs so bad that he lost control of his life and it resulted in the death of Mr. Cook," Griffiths said after the sentencing.
Searcy was under the influence of crystal meth and had been in a state of paranoia in which he "believed people were chasing after him," Griffiths said.
"This is an example of the horrible effect of drugs on everybody around them: the people who use them and, unfortunately, the families of people that they touch and interact with," Griffiths said.
Searcy was running down Broadway when Cook "was the first person to stop and help him," Griffiths said. "That's what makes it so tragic."