SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office released the following information Wednesday:
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that 33 year-old Timothy McNally was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison having been convicted of murdering Gary Bent.
On October 10, 2013, a Santa Maria jury found McNally guilty of second degree murder with the special allegation of personal use of a firearm. This was the second trial of McNally.
The first trial resulted in a hung jury. On March 8, 2011, after several days of drinking and snorting "bath salts" in a hotel room in Lompoc, McNally shot and killed Mr. Bent. Bath salts are a designer drug that has central nervous stimulant effects similar to methamphetamine.
Mr. Bent was a federal correctional officer from Victorville, California, who was in Lompoc for training at the Lompoc Federal Prison. McNally was a federal correctional officer assigned to the Lompoc Federal Prison.
District Attorney Dudley commended the Lompoc Police Department and Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens for their work investigating and prosecuting this tragic crime.
Dudley stated, "The murder of Gary Bent was both tragic and avoidable. Law enforcement officers are extensively trained in the safe handling of firearms, but in this case that training was ignored and resulted in the death of a fellow law enforcement officer."