|Updated: 3/11/2011 9:42 pm
||Published: 3/11/2011 2:49 pm
CONWAY, AR – One of the men involved in the 2008 University of Central Arkansas shooting entered a guilty plea Friday afternoon.
Kelsey Perry plead guilty today to murdering UCA students Ryan Henderson and Chavares Block in October 2008. Perry was sentenced to 40 years behind bars, but Block’s family says they’ll deal with their loss forever.
“You don’t expect anything like this to happen,” Block’s uncle Sam Morris said. “I mean, 19-years-old. Honor student. Everything going for him. Not a gang banger, a Christian guy. So this has been a part of our family taken away that we’ll never get back again.”
Perry apologized to the Block and Henderson families inside the courtroom today, saying he regrets what he did. But Block’s uncle says the apology didn’t mean much to him.
“No, I mean, it shouldn’t have happened.” Morris said. “I mean, he wasn’t even the intended target, so [the apology] doesn’t mean anything to us.”
As for why Perry took the plea deal, his lawyer called it an “appropriate sentence.”
“We talked about it for an extended period of time in one fashion or another,” Perry’s attorney Jeff Rosezweig said. “And so he fully thought through it and decided this is the appropriate resolution to the case.”
Perry’s grandmother Oljean Doss, however, had a slightly different take.
“Everybody else put it on him, what else could he do?” Doss said. “Those other three boys, what did they do?”
UCA put out a statement today saying that they hope today’s plea brings closure for the students’ families.
They also said that the students have not been forgotten.