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Jury Convicts Ex-Prison Guard of Second-Degree Murder

A Santa Maria jury on Thursday found a former Lompoc federal prison guard guilty of second-degree murder in the March 2012 shooting death of a fellow guard and friend.

Timothy McNally was convicted of one felony count of second-degree murder in the death of Gary Bent, who was shot and killed on March 8, 2012, in a room at the Embassy Suites on H Street in Lompoc, according to Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens.

The jury also found McNally guilty of an enhancement charge for using a gun during the commission of a deadly crime.

The verdict was read in the Santa Maria courtroom of Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly following three days of juror deliberation.

This was McNally’s second trial. Another jury deadlocked 7-5 in favor of not convicting McNally in April, which prompted Kelly to declare a mistrial, Jebens said.

McNally, who has been in custody since the incident, faces the possibility of 25 years to life in prison — 15 to life for murder plus 10 years for the gun allegation — when he is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 13, according to Jebens.

Throughout the case, the defense has challenged the murder charge, claiming the shooting of a fellow Lompoc federal penitentiary guard was an accident.

On Thursday, Jebens said the prosecution was satisfied with the guilty verdict.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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