News Release: Associated Press
June 20, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A northeast Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a Jacksonville firefighter.
A Duval County judge sentenced 33-year-old Charles Edward Pearce on Friday. A jury convicted him in May of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that Pearce was delusional in 2011 when he killed Mike McCue. Pearce reportedly thought that McCue and others were keeping him from a fictional inheritance and that people were trying to inject him with HIV.
Defense attorneys argued that Pearce was insane at the time of the killing, but prosecutors said Pearce's thoughts were a motive for killing, not an excuse.
The Florida Times-Union Click Here reports that more than 2,000 people either attended McCue's funeral or watched it on a live video feed. Those included soldiers in Afghanistan that McCue had helped train.