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Shooter of 2 at Md. tavern gets life sentence

WESTMINSTER — A Westminster man is contesting his life sentence for fatally shooting a man and wounding another outside an Eldersburg tavern.

The Carroll County Times reports that 25-year-old Jacob Bircher was sentenced Tuesday for the first-degree murder of David Garrett and the attempted first-degree murder of Gary Hale Jr.

The Sykesville men were struck by some of the 13 shots Bircher fired into a crowd in the parking lot of the Harvest Inn on July 13, 2012, after taking offense at something someone said.

Bircher had moved to the area from Washington state three months earlier to live with his girlfriend.

His lawyer says the judge should have considered Bircher’s difficult childhood and mental illness during sentencing deliberations.

The defense also contends that prosecutors didn’t prove the shooting was premeditated.