Bryant sentenced to six years in prison for shooting death of stepfather

COLUMBUS, Ind. — An Edinburgh man who admitted shooting his stepfather last Thanksgiving has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Damion Bryant, 21, of 15148 N. Bluff Rd., Edinburgh was originally changed with murder and reckless homicide in the shooting death of 49-year-old Wayne E. McGeorge Jr.

But as part of a plea agreement announced on April 16, Bryant pleaded guilty to reckless homicide as a Level 5 felony. In exchange, the charge of murder was dropped.

While murder carries up to 65 years in prison, the maximum sentence for a Level 5 felony is six years. Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin handed down the maximum before ordering Bryant to pay $2,073 in restitution to the victim’s father and an additional $8,366 for funeral expenses, as well as court costs and various fees.

The shooting of McGeorge took place in the Talberton addition of northwest German Township. Next door to the crime scene was a home occupied by the victim’s parents and two brothers.

After a fight broke out between McGeorge and Bryant’s mother, Angela McGeorge, the matter began to escalate out of control, a probable cause affidavit stated.

Witnesses testified that McGeorge left for over 20 minutes after the fight ended before he returned and was subsequently shot. Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin said she still has no idea why Bryant first loaded the gun, unloaded it, and then loaded it a second time before shooting his stepfather.

But Benjamin said those actions showed Bryant had time to think about his actions.

The judge repeated a statement earlier made by Bryant that he felt he would either punch or shoot his stepfather prior to the killing.

“Your actions were concerning, calculated, reckless and dangerous,” Benjamin told the defendant. “And that makes you dangerous.”

For the complete story, see Saturday’s Republic.