A North Texas teen was sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison for the beating death of a Wylie man in his own front yard.
Seth Dorris, now 18, sat at the Collin County jail and spoke to News 8 about his sentence, and why he doesn't think he deserves the time.
It started as an argument between 28-year-old Jonathan Bird and several teens in a pickup at a Wylie intersection. Bird yelled at them to slow down.
Prosecutors said the five teens — including Dorris — returned, and began beating Bird with their fists, feet and a hammer.
"No one went there with the intent of killing anybody,” said Dorris. “There was supposed to be a fight, and that was it."
Collin County prosecutors said Dorris threw the first punch. It was a punch Dorris claimed missed Bird. Dorris claimed another teen pulled out a hammer from the truck and delivered the fatal blows.
"It was something I was involved in,” he admitted. “I wish I wasn't involved in. If I could, I would take it all back. But you can't do that, you know."
Dorris said he would like to apologize to the Bird family. He said he is very remorseful for making a very bad decision.
"I don't know how I would handle it either, you know,” Dorris said. “If my brother died like this or my mom or my sister, I don't know how I could handle it."
The Collin County District Attorney’s Office downgraded the charge against Dorris from murder to manslaughter. Even so, the judge gave him the maximum sentence, 20 years in prison.
“Something tragic happened to them,” Dorris said. “I understand it. I understand they want me to spend time in prison. I understand that. But there's no reason to put me away for 20 years.”
A senseless act is sending Seth Dorris to prison, a place where his older brother may soon join him. Ethan Dorris is facing murder charges for the same crime.
Ethan Dorris and two other teens who were charged with murder face trial next year.
Another teen pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and spent time in juvenile custody.