Tontavious Montgomery said his biggest regret was that he wasn’t man enough to walk away from the situation.
Man enough to keep his emotions in check.
Instead, emotions sparked by a turf war led to a gang shooting on May 15, 2016, authorities said. Terrance Gunn, 22, was fatally shot, and now Montgomery is headed to prison.
Montgomery, 27, pleaded no contest to manslaughter and use of a firearm to commit a felony. He had faced charges of first-degree murder and weapon use.
Thursday, Judge Gary Randall sentenced Montgomery to 15 to 20 years on the manslaughter charge and 15 to 20 years on the firearm charge, to be served one after another. Under state law, that means Montgomery will have to serve a minimum of 15 years before he is eligible for parole. He was given credit for 1,238 days served in jail.
Montgomery’s case was delayed because he had spent time at the Lincoln Regional Center as officials determined whether he was mentally competent.
Another man involved, Alphonso Hall III, 24, pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison. Under state law, he will serve 7½ to 10 years.
Authorities say Montgomery and Hall are members of the South Family Bloods gang. They say the two shot Gunn after a turf war led to a dispute.
Sign up for World-Herald news alerts
Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.
Gunn, who officials said was a member of the 40th Avenue Crips, was at a tobacco store near the Southside Terrace apartments on South 30th Street. Gunn and Hall ran into each other, and Hall confronted Gunn about being on South Family turf.
As Gunn went to a friend’s apartment, Hall gathered others next door, and the argument continued.
Gunn lifted up his shirt to reveal a gun, authorities said. Hall and Montgomery then went to their cars to get guns and opened fire shortly after, the officials said.
Some said they felt threatened by Gunn, but Deputy Douglas County Attorney Mike Jensen has said Gunn never pulled the weapon out of his waistband.
But even at Thursday’s sentencing, emotions ran high and there was confusion and disagreement about who fired the first shot.
Extra law enforcement personnel were in the courtroom for the sentencing.
After Hall’s March 2018 sentencing, several people yelled that they would be waiting for Hall.
Jensen said that witnesses were uncooperative and that ballistic evidence didn’t indicate who fired the first shot. Gunn wouldn’t tell police who shot him, authorities said.
Randall said the evidence in the case is difficult, which is probably what led to the plea deal for Montgomery.
Gunn’s father, Terrance Bonner, pointed at the prosecutor and judge and blamed them for the outcome of the case.
Bonner then turned to Montgomery and said, “I’ll see you when you get out.” He was removed from the courtroom.