HUNTSVILLE, Ala – Clarence Fearn was convicted of murder in January in connection with the 2009 shooting of his stepfather, George Woodard. The sentencing hearing was held on Thursday.
Prosecutors said they combed through 20 hours of video footage and 400 pages of cell phone records to make their case. Fearn was facing a possible sentence of 20 years to life in prison for the murder
A judge sentenced Fearn to life in prison. Fearn’s attorney tried to get the murder charge dropped, claiming one of the witnesses during the trial lied on the stand, but it wasn’t enough to change the judge’s mind.
More than a dozen members of Woodard’s family were in attendance. Three of them had the chance to speak on behalf of their loved one.
They all said Woodard was kind-hearted and that his untimely death has been hard on the entire family. Towards the end of the sentencing, Fearn looked Woodard’s family in the eye and said he did not murder him.
When it came time for the judge to sentence him, Fearn decided to stay seated even after the judge asked him to stand up.
As soon as the judge said Fearn was sentenced to life, there was an outburst that led to him being tased.
Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit said the way Fearn acted in court was not shocking at all.
“He makes the rules, and if you cross him he’s going to do what he needs to do. He had the same respect for his father that he had for the judge. I’m going to do what I want to do and I don’t care what anyone else does,” Douthit explained.
Woodard’s sister, Shelia Woodard, said she forgives Fearn because that’s what her faith tells her to do.
“In order for me to move on with my life I have to forgive. I forgave him the morning he shot George. I’ve forgiven all the parties involved on the day George was killed. There is more to the story than you will ever know,” she said.
Woodard’s family asked the judge for a life sentence so Fearn could sit behind bars and reflect on the crime he committed.