A Tennessee jury found a man once accused of killing a police officer guilty again for another crime.
Timothy McKinney, 41, was charged with second-degree murder after a bullet he fired at another man he was arguing with at a gas station ended up hitting a 14-year-old boy, WBRC reported.
During his testimony, McKinney said he didn’t mean to shoot the boy. Instead, he brought a gun with him for the men who had allegedly tried to rob him a few days before, one of whom he said he caught at the gas station.
McKinney’s attorneys urged the jury to consider that the shooting was unintentional when making their decision.
"We don't give someone a free pass when they hit the wrong person," Assistant District Attorney Stacy McEndree said, according to WBRC.
Prosecutors pressed on, and eventually won, calling the shooting a parent’s worst nightmare.
"You pick your son up from school," Assistant District Attorney Alanda Dwyer said, reported WBRC. "You're on the way home with him and his siblings; you stop by the store to get change, and your child's life is changed forever."
McKinney was previously sentenced to prison on second-degree murder charges for the death of police officer Don William on Christmas in 1997.
According to Commercial Appeal, he was sentenced to death in 1999, but an appeals court ruled his defense was deficient, making “the entire proceeding fundamentally unfair."
Despite many trials, the courts were unable to decide whether or not he was guilty of killing the police officer. They agreed to give him the lesser second-degree charge, which meant 15 years in jail.
McKinney was subsequently released upon serving time.
“He could stand to get the rest of the time he never served,” said Vince Higgins, the police officer’s brother, reported The Daily Beast. “So I think Don has had the last laugh. I know Don would make a big joke about all this and leave us with this good burn.”