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Life sentence rendered in 2017 first-degree murder case

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Jonathan Bennett was found guilty of first-degree murder in June after shooting and killing Cody Darby.

On Monday, he appeared in the courtroom to hear his fate.

Both families were in the courtroom, re-living May 29, 2017; the day of the shooting that changed the Darby family’s life forever.

“I should’ve had my son for the rest of my life. He should have buried me, not me buried him,” said Tracy Darby, the victim’s father.

Cody Darby was only 29-years-old when Bennett shot him. Bennett was 20-years-old.

While addressing the court Tracy Darby says, two lives were lost that day. “He also took time away from his family and I look at them and I feel sorry for them as well.”

Bennett’s message to the court was, the man who shot Darby is not who he truly is. “There’s the nothing that I can do or you can do, or the prison system can do to bring back their son. I just pray that one day that they will get the answer to what really happened that day and I can’t even give that answer myself because to this day, I ask myself what happened and I can’t even explain what happened that day,” said Bennett.

The victim’s father says, even though the legal battle is over, their journey will never end.

“I cannot sit here and say that I can live comfortably the rest of my life like I probably would have if I had my son cause I don’t feel like I can,” said Darby.

Bennett was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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