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Sentence in bow & arrow killing


A Lancaster man convicted of using a hunting bow and arrow to kill a man three years ago has been sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison.

Garrett Taylor Adams, 26, was convicted May 22 of first-degree murder for the Aug. 23, 2014, killing of Charles Briggs, 27, of Lancaster.

Adams was arguing with his then-girlfriend at a home in the 43000 block of 27th Street West when his brother and Briggs arrived and tried to intervene, authorities said shortly after the killing.

Adams went back inside his house, retrieved a compound bow and razor-tipped broadhead hunting arrow and struck Briggs in the chest, according to the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.

“Briggs can be heard screaming on a recorded video of the incident that was captured by a party-goer at a neighbor’s house. Defendant is heard on the video to utter the words, ‘That’s what you get, homey’ and ‘I should shoot with you with my gun, homey,’ and can be seen moving in the opposite direction from the victim,” according to the sentencing memorandum.

The unarmed victim walked southbound on 27th Street, collapsed some distance away and died at a hospital about six hours later, according to the prosecution.

“Defendant was outside his own home, some distance away, staring down an unarmed man while armed with a deadly weapon and under no immediate threat from the victim,” according to the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.

Adams’ attorney, Steve Meister, countered, “It was an accident.”

Meister contended that Adams armed himself in self-defense and “accidentally released the arrow.”

Meister said he objected to the prosecution’s request to instruct jurors on the theory of felony murder under which his client was convicted, with jurors rejecting the prosecution’s other theory—premeditated murder.

“He (the judge) should not have allowed the jury to consider the felony murder-mayhem theory. That’s going to be the basis for Mr. Adams’ appeal,” the defense attorney said.

Adams—who surrendered to the first patrol car to arrive at the scene—was acquitted of charges stemming from the alleged early morning run-in with his then-girlfriend, Meister said.