Crime

A man who killed his friend by running him over in Tacoma has been sentenced

A man who killed a friend by running him over earlier this year in Tacoma has been sentenced.

Jacob Emery Williams, 21, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide for running over Gerald Bryant on March 8.

Bryant, 34, later died from his injuries.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Sabrina Ahrens sentenced Williams to six years, six months in prison.

Charging papers said the men were friends but that an argument started after they had been drinking outside an apartment building in the 1700 block of East 56th Street.

Williams went inside and got keys to a Volkswagen Jetta and ran over Bryant several times, then left and was later arrested, according to the charging papers and police.

Defense attorney Bryan Hershman told the court Monday that Williams “did not intend to hurt anyone. His intent was to leave.”

Taking a life “is not something that he welcomed or wanted or relishes in any way,” Hershman said.

When it was Williams’ turn to address the court, he said: “None of this was intentional, and I’m very sorry to anybody and everybody that I’ve hurt. It’s not only their loss, but it’s my loss, too, because now I have to live with death on my shoulders ... .”

Ahrens told Williams: “In these situations, no one wins.”

She said that she appreciated that he was sorry and that he might not have thought there was anything he could have done differently that day.

The judge also said Bryant “was loved, he was cared for, he was important, and he’s not here today. And he’s not here today because of your actions.”

Loved ones said Bryant leaves behind seven children. The youngest is 2.

“There’s no justice for them,” Bryant’s sister, Sheana Boddie, said outside court.

She addressed the court the day Williams pleaded guilty, reading a letter on behalf of the family.

“Jacob, you’re a coward and you left him to die,” Boddie said.

She told him that she hopes he prays for mercy and forgiveness.

None is coming from her family, she said.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.
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