ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) - The man who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a seasonal UPS worker in Ithaca in 2016 has been sentenced.
Justin Barkley will spend the next 25 years behind bars after taking a plea deal in January. As WENY previously reported, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and menacing a police officer just days before his murder trial was set to begin.
Family members of the victim, 52-year-old William Schumacher, read impact statements during the sentencing hearing. Schumacher's son told Barkley five children lost their grandfather weeks before Christmas because of his actions. Schumacher's son said if his father was still alive, he would have forgiven Barkley.
Schumacher's family, including two of his sisters, said he would not have wanted them to hate Barkley for what he did.
Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten says he hopes the sentencing will help Schumacher's family begin to heal.
"There is no real closure to a tragic situation like this," says Van Houten. "It's the next chapter for William Schumacher's family. Thankfully they did not have to endure the trauma of a trial. So in that sense, there is some satisfaction that Mr. Barkley will spend the next twenty-five years in state prison."
Barkley also spoke during the hearing. He said he thinks about what happened every single day. Barkley also addressed his mental state when he killed Schumacher. He said he wished he would have gotten help sooner. Barkley said he'll continue to think about the pain he's caused every day.
Barkley shot and killed Shumacher in the parking lot of the Ithaca Walmart in December 2016. He then drove over Schumacher's body, and led police on a pursuit that turned into an hours long standoff at Barkley's home.