4 LIFE SENTENCES FOR M.M.A. FIGHTER; FOR MURDER OF TAYLOR POWELL
DEL NORTE CO. -- Four consecutive life sentences are handed down to Jarrod Wyatt in a Del Norte County courtroom on Thursday. The 29-year old is the M.M.A. fighter accused of killing and mutilating his sparring partner and friend -- Taylor Powell.
"Do I think justice was done today? Yes I believe that," said Del Norte District Attorney Jon Alexander.
Wyatt will serve at least 47 years in a California state prison for the murder.
"Listening to the Powell and Hawkins family, you could not help but feel heartbroken for their loss," Alexander said.
Wyatt was charged with first degree murder and 3 counts of mayhem, when he killed and mutilated Powell's body in March 2010. When investigators found Powell's body, they say his beating heart had been ripped out, and that he was still alive when Wyatt cut out his eyes and tongue.
Wyatt's lawyer says it was the drugs that caused Wyatt's horrific actions.
"Psilocybin mushrooms, some sort of rum, marijuana, and the whole thing occurred at a home that was a marijuana grow," said Wyatt's attorney, James Fallman.
No cameras were allowed in court Thursday, but Wyatt was sentenced to 25 years to life for first degree murder. The judge added 21 more years for mayhem before he's eligible for parole.
"Given that he had no prior record, he may be able to favorably impress a parole board some place down the line," said Fallman.
Just a few feet from his victim's family, Wyatt appeared in shackles. He was somber, while Powell's mother publicly mourned the loss of her son.
Alexander says despite the sentence, there were two losses in this case.
"I don't think anytime you have the death of one boy and the loss of another in prison for the rest of his life, the devastation of two families, I don't know how we can quantify that in wins or losses."
--Monica Jacquez, News Channel 3