Circuit Judge Brantley Clark sentenced Daryl Alexander Jackson to 22 years in prison Thursday for manslaughter in the death of a Panama City man.
Jackson, 40, of 720 Cactus Ave., hit Preston Rice on the head with a piece of lumber after an argument March 22, 2011. Rice died June 8 and Jackson was convicted last month of manslaughter with a weapon, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Jackson apologized to Rice’s widow prior to sentencing. “I am very fond of your kids,” Jackson said. “I’m sorry they’re going to have to grow up without Preston. I’m very sorry.”
Assistant State Attorneys Erin Oliver and Bob Sombathy showed jurors at trial that Jackson and Rice were roommates until Rice told him to leave day of the altercation. Jackson left the house, then returned a few minutes later and knocked on the locked door. Rice unlocked the door and turned away to go into the living room when Jackson swung the lumber one time and knocked him to the ground.
Clark told Jackson on Thursday that he’d given the sentence great consideration. He noted Jackson’s two prior felony convictions and the range of penalties, from 10 to 30 years in prison.
Clark also talked about Rice’s reputation as a good father to his sons.
“Their father was taken away from them,” Clark said of the children. “They’ve been sentenced to a lifetime without a father.”