Updated Thu, Nov 21, 2013 9:30 am
"I don't have any remorse. I'm not an emotional person." Those words came from a convicted murderer before he was sentenced Wednesday in Gallia County.
Earlier this month, Bruce Hively, 56, was convicted in Gallia County of killing 18-year-old Charles Addis.
A jury found him guilty on an aggravated murder charge with a gun specification, as well as a tampering with evidence charge. They found him not guilty on a murder charge.
The shooting happened in April in the Crown City area.
During the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Melvin Biars, an uncle of the victim, spoke on behalf of the family, who tearfully listened in the courtroom.
He said that Charlie brightened up the family's darkest day with his smile and now they are filling a void. "I've had to watch my family try to pick up the pieces from that horrible evening and continue to live our lives without him," Biars said.
Biars spoke to Hively and said, "What you did was heartless, cowardly and an act of the Devil."
Biars also read a statement from the victim's mother Tammy. It said, "You will never get the chance again to torment my boys the way you did in the past. I hope the last years of your life are miserable and are very painful and I hope your family and children wake up one day and finally see the mean and evil monster you are."
Biars also read a statement the family prepared on behalf of the victim, and what he would have said to Hively and his family members.
When it was Hively's turn to speak, he thanked everyone for being at the hearing. He said he knew they were all there for different reasons.
Hively maintains his innocence in the crime. "I'm not guilty. I never claimed to be guilty. I did not murder Charlie Addis."
Hively said he was forced into the situation, and previously had stated that he was provoked. "I don't have any remorse. I'm not an emotional person."
He told family members and the court that it wasn't his intention to take a life, but he was ready to accept the punishment. "I hope everyone can forgive me for what happened because it was not intentional," Hively said.
Judge Dean Evans sentenced the 56-year-old convicted murderer to 30 years to life on the aggravated murder charge, to be served consecutively with three years on the gun specification. He was also sentenced to three months on the tampering with evidence charge. Those three months will be served concurrently with the 33 years to life sentence.
Hively was granted 230 days time served.
Hively will be eligible for parole in 33 years, when he is 89 years old. Judge Evans says if he is granted parole, Hively will be on post release control for three years.
After the hearing, Addis' family said it was a bitter sweet day. "We are pleased with the outcome, but it still leaves a sad note. At our family table, there will be one chair empty. There won't be another plate setting at the table waiting for Charlie," Biars told WSAZ.com.
WSAZ also spoke with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Britt Wiseman who said they were satisfied with the verdict, which is essentially a life sentence. "We can't ever bring him back, but what we can do is what we did today. That is bring the defendant to trial, get him convicted and sentence him for at least 33 years," Wiseman said.
Defense Attorney Charles Knight tells WSAZ.com he felt the sentence the judge handed down was appropriate for the verdict the jury reached. But he said they will appeal the conviction.
This article was contributed by WSAZ Television in Huntington.