VIRGINIA CITY - George Harold Davis will spend the rest of his life in prison, but that doesn't necessarily give his victims much solace.
Davis, 46, opened fire on a group of unsuspecting young people in downtown Ennis in the early morning hours of June 14, 2003. By the time he was finished, one man was dead and six others were seriously wounded.
In March, Davis pleaded guilty to murder and six counts of attempted murder.
On Friday, Davis was sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole. But first he had to hear from the people whose lives he'd changed forever. Relatives and friends of Davis' victims testified during the sentencing hearing at the Madison County Courthouse.
Douglas Clark, of Ennis, was downtown that early morning. He walked out a door just in time to hear a gunshot and see his son, Jamie Roberts, 27, fall on the ground mortally wounded. Then he dragged his friend back into a bar after the friend was shot in the stomach.
"I hate you for what you did to me, my family, friends and the entire Ennis community," Clark told Davis at the hearing Friday. "I, Douglas P. Clark, will never forgive you."
In the courtroom, people wore blue and red T-shirts embossed with a logo urging people to remember that fateful night. People wiped away tears as they listened to the statements from those who were shot, their families and friends.
They all told of lives turned upside down.
"I will never be the same person that I was since you, George Davis, shattered and tore one of the biggest holes in my heart, for which there is no repair" Jamie Roberts' mother, Sharon Clark said. "I feel that you also killed me that horrible night of June 14, 2003. You, George Davis, killed my one and only son."
"Jamie was one of the kindest, outgoing, happy-go-lucky people anyone would want to be around," said Sharon Clark. "Jamie liked to make the whole world laugh and be happy. Jamie had no enemies."
In arguing for life in prison without parole, Madison County Attorney Bob Zenker said he'd been asked many times "Why did he do it?" After considering all the evidence, Zenker said the only explanation he could find is "George Harold Davis is evil incarnate. He is the face of evil."
Zenker said Davis' background is filled with violent tendencies.
"The defendant is brutal, dangerous and evil," Zenker told the court. "He is a cancer, and the court is the surgeon. This community asks the court to remove this cancer from among us forever."
When Davis stood to address the courtroom, he turned to the audience and said in a quiet voice, "I'm sorry. I didn't know what I was doing. I don't even remember."
Davis blamed the episode on his decision to ease off the drug Paxil. He said he'd learned more about the drug from the Internet since the shooting. According to the Paxil Web site, the drug is used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and social and panic anxiety disorders, among others.
Davis also said a "big guy" hit him as he was leaving the bar.
"For some reason, everything went black after that," he said.
Ed Sheehy Jr., one of Davis' attorneys, recommended an 80-year sentence with 40 suspended, saying by the time that Davis is released, he'd be well into his 80s and no longer a threat to society. With an 80-year sentence, Davis would be supervised for the rest of this life, Sheehy said.
Sheehy said Davis is remorseful, pointing to the fact that Davis cried during some of the victim's statements.
"There is no indication that he was faking that crying," said Sheehy. "That is remorse."
District Judge Loren Tucker said that other than Davis' "belated expression" of saying that he was sorry, he had shown no sympathy for the victims before the hearing.
Tucker also wasn't moved by the Paxil excuse, saying Davis knew he wasn't supposed to mix alcohol with the drug.
Davis drank more than 10 beers the night of the shooting
Had Davis been a better marksman, more people would have certainly died, Tucker said.
"It was not for a lack of effort," Tucker said.
The fact that Davis was so willing to take other people's lives left the court with little choice but to impose a sentence of life without the chance of parole in order to protect society, Tucker said.
Tucker warned people not to expect too much from the court's decision.
"We do not live in a perfect world," Tucker said. "There will be no perfect result. That's the only thing that I can promise."