Omar Ahmed Mercer, 32, was sentenced Friday morning to 166 months (13 years, 10 months) and 60 months probation, as recommended by the state’s sentencing guidelines.
Mercer orignally faced second degree murder charges for the shooting of Anthony Jerome Hopkins in August of 2012.
He pled no contest earlier this year to charges of manslaughter with a firearm.
The state attorney had asked for a 25-year prison sentence with five years of probation as Mercer’s sentencing.
According to a Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office report at the time of the incident, deputies responded to an early morning shooting during a birthday party at the Senior Citizens Center in Quincy.
Hopkins, along with two other men, had come to the party in Mercer’s car.
The car keys were missing when they decided to leave the party and Mercer ended up calling someone to bring an extra key to the party.
No testimony concerning all of the actual events that night was given; however one person did say he was at the party and heard the shots.
He added that he also saw Mercer with a gun.
Mercer, a Quincy native, later surrendered to investigators at his Quincy home within a few hours of the shooting.
The nearly two-hour sentencing hearing included family members from both Hopkins’ and Mercer’s families who spoke on their behalf.
Hopkins’ mother said that her son was respectful and that her family missed him.
She said her son’s death had affected her badly. She said that she missed him a lot and visited his grave often.
His cousin said he was a fun-loving guy, always had a smile on his face, and loved life.
Mercer’s attorney John Reese said that Mercer had a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Emery Riddle University.
Mercer’s sister spoke about how she and he had been close and that this incident was not like him.
She added that he had worked hard to get an education and had freely given of his time to mentor others.
Mercer read a statement to the court in which he stated that there was not a day that went by that he did not think of what happened and that it was something he would have to live with for the rest of his life.
“I offer my sincerest apology,” he said to the family.
Mercer will be required to pay court costs and restitution as part of his sentencing.