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Kentucky Kroger shooter receives another life sentence on hate crimes charges

Gregory Bush plea agreement on federal hate crimes charges means he avoided the death penalty. File Photo courtesy Louisville Department of Corrections
Gregory Bush plea agreement on federal hate crimes charges means he avoided the death penalty. File Photo courtesy Louisville Department of Corrections

June 24 (UPI) -- A man sentenced to life imprisonment for killing two people in what authorities described as a racially motivated shooting at a Kentucky Kroger received another life sentence Thursday for the murders.

A federal judge sentenced Gregory Bush, 53, to life plus 10 years for six federal hate crime and firearm charges, to which he pleaded guilty in March.

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The sentence is on top of the two life sentences without the possibility of parole he received in December on state murder charges. Because he pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the charges, he'll also receive treatment and medication for mental illness while incarcerated.

The plea agreement on the federal hate crimes charges means Bush was spared the death penalty.

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Bush, who is White, opened fire Oct. 24, 2018, at a Jeffersontown, Ky., Kroger, killing Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, both of whom were Black.

Prior to carrying out the shooting at the grocery store Bush allegedly attempted to enter the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown, whose congregation is predominantly Black, and witnesses said he told another man at the scene "Whites don't kill Whites" before he was arrested.

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An attorney for Bush, Angela Ellman, said that his schizophrenia was not medicated on the day of the shootings and he was "tortured by voices that threatened to kill him and his family."

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Members of the victims' families addressed Bush during Thursday's hearing, The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported.

Jones' nephew, Kevin Gunn, said he prays for Bush.

"But you are a rabid dog," Gunn said. "And you deserve everything you got coming to you."

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