JONESBORO The convicted killer of Clayton County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Daly received a 25-year sentence, on top of a life sentence he is already serving, for the armed robbery that ultimately led to the lawman’s death.
Bun was convicted last week for the January 2011 armed robbery of Los Amigos Gifts and Things in Forest Park. Clayton County Superior Court Judge Deborah Benefield sentenced Johnathan Bun, 18, to 20 years for armed robbery and five years for possession of a weapon during the commission of the crime.
The teen, who has repeatedly been in trouble with the law for years, was sentenced earlier this year to life without parole, plus 70 years, for murdering Daly in July 2011, while the deputy attempted to arrest the teen for the Los Amigos robbery.
He was sentenced to a second, concurrent life sentence nearly two week ago after he pleaded guilty to the June 2011 armed robbery of Illusions Hair Studio in Riverdale. Since it is a concurrent life sentence with the sentence for murder, they effectively merge together.
Under state law, the possession of a weapon charge must be served consecutive to any other sentence Bun is serving.
“We’re pleased with the outcome,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco. “He will be serving [a total of] life without parole plus 95 years in prison.”
Pending the appeals process, the sentence handed down Thursday closes the book on the cases against Bun, at least in Clayton County courts.
The 95 years tacked on to the life sentence is itself effectively a life sentence, unless an appeals court reduces that time. If Bun had to serve just those 95 years, without getting parole and without having to serve the life sentence, he would still not get out of jail until he was 113.
He could have been facing a much more severe punishment just for killing Daly if he hadn’t been 16 when the murder occurred.
“Had he been of age, we would have sought the death penalty,” said Tanjuatco.
Prosecutors had sought a life sentence, to be served consecutively with the other two life sentences, in case an appeals court changed Bun’s sentence for Daly’s murder to life with parole. The sentence for the murder conviction is being appealed.
Bun’s attorney, Lloyd Matthews, said a motion for a new trial will be filed with the court, but he declined to comment any further on the matter.
Daly’s death played an interesting role in this case. While the armed robbery of Los Amigos ultimately led to Daly’s death, Benefield stressed this final case against Bun was not about the fallen deputy.
During the trial, she barred prosecutors and Matthews from evoking Daly’s death in front of the jury.
Benefield stressed for approximately five minutes Thursday that there were other victims — “whose names will not be put on street signs and buildings” — involved in the shooting. The judge was referencing the fact the county re-named a street at the courthouse in memory of Daly.
“It was not [about Daly],” said Benefield. “It’s about Alix Bertilon-Perez, who had a gun put to her head while she was robbed.”
Still, the specter of Daly’s murder couldn’t be ignored during sentencing. At least eight uniformed sheriff’s deputies, plus several plain-clothed sheriff’s office investigators packed the courtroom just to hear the sentence handed down to Bun.
Bun has been in jail since the day Daly died.