The same jury that took only two hours of deliberations to convict Tyrece D’Andre Harris, 18, in the 2016 killing of Jimmy Bertrand, 52, sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole on Wednesday.
Jury members last week agreed with prosecutors that there is enough evidence to prove he shot Bertrand dead during a botched burglary attempt at his west-end home. Sentencing did not take place until Wednesday because of the Fourth of July holiday.
The defense Wednesday morning called Harris’ pastor and others to the stand. They tried to prove to jury members that the defendant is a person of “good character.”
"Why?" said David Bertrand, the son of Jimmy Bertrand. "You could of left like everyone else did and we wouldn't be here right now. It's not about revenge, its about justice."
Prosecutors responded by saying Harris is a known troublemaker. They called three corrections officers to the witness stand. Each talked about threats Harris made while in jail. Prosecutors also brought up a string of robberies that happened near Lamar University in 2016. A robbery victim picked Harris out of a photo lineup. He said Harris kicked him while he was on the ground. He said the same silver gun used in the murder of Jimmy Bertrand was used in the robbery.
Tyrece Harris's family did not want to give a statement about the sentencing.