• 75°

Black gets 20 years in killing

A meth kit in a suitcase, a chat between friends and a “gruesome” shooting culminated in a 20-year manslaughter sentence Monday at the Pike County Courthouse.

Garry Anthony Black, from Enterprise, shot and killed William Brooks Wesley Marsh on Nov. 11, 2008.

Black went to Marsh’s mobile home in Troy carrying a suitcase filled with equipment to make methamphetamine, according to information from an affidavit from Detective Terry Miles signed by Judge William Hightower.

Black wanted to use the mobile home as a meth lab. Marsh said no – the trailer belonged to his girlfriend, he said, and she would put him out if she knew what Black was doing.

So then the two had a long, friendly conversation, according to the report. Then Black picked up his suitcase and walked out to his1998 Chevy Tahoe pickup. Marsh followed him into the yard.

Black pulled an automatic handgun and shot Marsh several times, killing him. Then he drove away.

Two years later, Black stood in front of Judge Barr at noon with his attorney Paul Young. His father Gary Black, Marsh’s mother Carole Gurski, and Marsh’s brother stood behind him.

Black entered a guilty plea to manslaughter and Barr gave Black a 20-year sentence, with eligibility for parole in 10 years. The two years he had already served would also count toward his sentence.

At the end of his sentence, Black tried to say something, but Young took his arm and pulled him until he stumbled and his chained feet knocked against the chair behind him.

“Never mind,” Black said.

Barr then told Black his crime “sounded gruesome.” He also said if Black had been in his courtroom from the start, he would have given Black a life sentence for a murder conviction.

Black tried to speak again, and Barr ordered him out of the courtroom.

Outside the courtroom, Marsh’s mother took slow steps as she leaned on her cane and her other son for support. She was crying, but she spoke in a firm voice.

After Black had “emptied his gun” into her son’s body, she said, she couldn’t believe he would be eligible for parole in less than a decade.

“It’s not just that he’s guilty of murder. He’s evil,” she said.

Garry Black and his family chose not to make any comments at this time.