By Kiera Morgan
Circuit Court Judge Paulette Sanders sentenced Antone Bernal to a life sentence, with the possibility of parole after serving 25-years. 23-year old Bernal was found guilty of murdering Luke McCann at his home in Lincoln City in October of 2015. Bernal was found guilty of 12 criminal charges including murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and unlawful use of a weapon. During the sentencing Marcia Thompson with the D.A.’s victims assistance program read statements to the judge from McCann’s family.
In a letter from McCann’s younger brother he said it has been hard for the family to deal with the grief of never being able to see their brother, son and father again. He said his brothers life was stolen from them when Bernal decided to shoot Luke three times, and left him to bleed to death. He asked the judge to give Bernal a life sentence saying “he is a waste of a human being and he deserves to grow old in prison where he can never harm anyone again. On the day Bernal murdered my brother, my brother took your life too by never being able to live outside prison.”
Mr. McCann’s mother and father also wrote a letter to the court describing how hard it is to bear the loss of a son. They also told Judge Sanders how Luke was a dedicated single father, leaving behind a 9-year old daughter that he was very devoted to. They said “Bernal is not a tough gangster that he thinks of himself but he is simply a punk with a gun.”
District Attorney Michelle Branum said “the family and I are relieved at the jury’s guilty verdict.” She also commented on Bernal’s lack of remorse over what had happened. She said his choices have affected many lives. Prior to sentencing Judge Sanders told Bernal “I have heard all of the evidence in the case and it appears that you are a violent person who only cares about yourself. My concern is that you cannot hurt anyone else.”
In addition to the life sentence Bernal will also have to serve 7.5 years in prison for attempted assault and attempted murder regarding a separate incident that took place in Otis when he shot several rounds into a car with three people inside while trespassing on their property. Luke McCann’s family vowed that they will be at every parole hearing to let the board know how deeply he has hurt their family by killing Luke.