Mervin Hale did not intentionally kill L.W., but he certainly acted with reckless disregard for human life, which is all that is required for a Second Degree Murder conviction.
While his recollection of the events is clouded by the fog of alcohol intoxication, Mr. Hale acknowledges the gravity of his offense. Indeed, the reality is, that for every remaining day of his life, whether in prison or out, Mr. Hale will live with the fact that his beating of L.W. lead to his untimely death, and, despite Mr. Hale's blurred recollection of the events, he must forever contemplate the stigma attached to the consequences of his actions. He will feel the effects of his crime long after his imprisonment has ended.
His sentence will be followed by several years of supervised release during which he can receive appropriate mental health counseling and will have to comply with strict reporting requirements, alcohol and drug testing, and other conditions to be imposed. Onerous consequences await him if he violates the conditions of supervised release. The effect of a period of incarceration and supervised release, combined with his personal desire to change his life, make it unlikely that he will engage in future criminal activity.