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Georgia man who fatally shot driver that pulled into wrong driveway sentenced to probation


LAWRENCEVILLE, Georgia — A Gwinnett County man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a man who mistakenly pulled into his driveway has been sentenced to a year of probation and a $500 fine.

Phillip Sailors of Lilburn pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday in the death of Rodrigo Diaz, 22. Diaz and his friends were looking for another friend's house on the night of Jan. 26, 2013 and GPS led them to the wrong driveway, investigators have said.

Sailors, 70, mistook the group for criminals and fired a warning shot before fatally shooting Diaz as he tried driving away, attorney Mike Puglise said. Sailors didn't speak much in court and didn't apologize to the Diaz family for the shooting, WSB-TV reported.

"Mr. Sailors is still in shock, I know it is hard to believe," Puglise told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Mr. Sailors wants the community to know that his actions were out of fear. Not out of vengeance, not out of hate, just fear."

Diaz's brother, David Diaz, said his family wasn't expecting an apology from Sailors, but didn't necessarily want him to be sentenced to prison time either.

"There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison. What we get from that? Nothing," Diaz told WSB-TV. "Like my dad said, we don't hold any grudge."

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