HAMILTON, Ohio - An 18-year-old Butler County resident who was convicted in last year's killing of a fellow group home resident was sentenced Monday to an additional 54 days in jail after already spending months behind bars.
Judge Patricia Oney sentenced Lance Tiernan to 54 additional days in jail after he had already served more than 240 days in jail since his arrest. Also, Tiernan's case will go back to juvenile court for review.
"This wasn't a fight. This was the brutal assault on somebody smaller than him who did not have the same faculties that Mr. Tiernan did," said Frank Smith at today's sentencing hearing.
Smith acted as 16-year-old Anthony Parker's father. Parker died a week after he was struck and body slammed to the ground by Tiernan.
Police arrested Tiernan, a Lebanon resident, in February for the murder of Parker at the One Way Farm, a group home located at 6131 E River Road in Fairfield. Tiernan was convicted of involuntary manslaughter during a jury trial in July .
While judge Oney read her sentence that gave Tiernan an additional 54 days in jail Smith bolted out of the courtroom and cried, "He murdered my son!"
Prosecutors say Tiernan slammed Parker’s head into the floor on Dec. 22 after an argument over a flashlight. They showed a video of the alleged incident to the jury during his conviction hearing.
In the video, Tiernan can be seen punching Parker in the head as Parker is sitting on the floor. The tape then shows Tiernan picking up Parker and slamming him head-first into the floor. That was followed by another punch to the head.
Prosecutors said, according to the law, that was murder.
But defense attorneys argued that because Tiernan didn't know what he did would cause serious physical harm, and that at the most it's a case of involuntary manslaughter.
The jurors were able to watch video as they deliberated. They also had two hours of additional video showing the two teens together eating in a lunchroom after the incident.
At the sentencing hearing Tiernan expressed regret for his actions.
"I think about it every day. I think about what could have gone differently to avoid this situation. Every day i ask God for forgiveness," said Tiernan tearfully.
Fairfield Township police say no one called them until as much as four hours after the incident
Tiernan was 17 years old when he the incident occurred. A judge decided in February that Tiernan would be tried as an adult.
Tiernan was originally charged with aggravated assault, but prosecutors dismissed that charge and levied a murder charge following Parker's death a week after the attack. Tiernan pleaded not guilty to the charges in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
Parker, a Fairfield High School student, died from his injuries after spending more than a week on life support at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Outside the courtroom Monday Anthony Parker's mother told reporters that she forgives Tiernan for the death of her son.
"I forgive him. The day that this happened in my heart I knew that he didn't intentionally set out to kill Anthony," said Kathy Sultan.
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