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Eastern Indiana man gets 69 years for fatally shooting buddy

January 11, 2016

An eastern Indiana man with a lengthy criminal record has been sentenced to 69 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a friend while drinking.

A judge sentenced Bert McQueen III, 44, of Union County on Friday under a plea agreement in which he was convicted of murder and being a habitual offender in the September 2014 slaying of Brandon Wicker of Brownsville. McQueen must serve at least 75 percent of his sentence, or about 52 years.

Wicker, 35, was shot while the two men were drinking together at Wicker’s residence north of Brookville Lake. A police report says McQueen told officers he and Wicker had been drinking before Wicker allegedly told McQueen “just shoot me and put me out of my misery.”

McQueen told officers he picked up Wicker’s gun, pointed it at Wicker and pulled the trigger, but that he didn’t expect the weapon to fire.

“There’s no words to justify or amend any of this,” McQueen said, shedding tears in court. “I don't know what else to say. I’m sorry.”

After sentencing McQueen, Union Circuit Judge Matthew Cox told him he hoped that he spent the time in prison rectifying his life.

McQueen has prior convictions for robbery, battery, forgery, counterfeiting, fraud, theft and receiving stolen property, Indiana Department of Correction records show.

“McQueen’s criminal history is one that’s rarely seen,” Cox said.

McQueen told the court he planned to appeal the sentence.

Wicker’s mother, Neisah Wicker, expressed relief at McQueen’s sentence after the hearing, the Connersville News-Examiner reported.

“I'm so glad it’s over,” she said. “And he can’t do it again.”

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