Terry, 30, is believed to have been a victim in the same fight, his attorney, Joseph Bernard, said.
Bernard said that though there were two fights that night before the party at Heritage India was shut down, Terry was not involved in either one of them. As the club emptied out, Terry took his friend’s car keys and was walking to retrieve the car when he heard a commotion behind him.
When he looked back, he saw his friend on the ground being beaten, Bernard said. When Terry went to help his friend, he was attacked, too. Someone offered him a gun and he took it, and shot, Bernard said, striking Coleman and two others.
Coleman was killed; the others survived.
Coleman’s family thanked Terry Friday for accepting responsibility and sparing them the pain of a drawn-out trial. But they warned him that sparing the pain did not mean that they were unaffected.
“I’m extremely grateful that this nightmare that began for our family when Jhonte [was killed] will now end for our family here today,” Kimberly Hunter, Coleman’s cousin, said.
“Brandon Terry, your name will be forever etched in my memory. I hope my brother’s name will be forever etched in your memory. You crippled our entire family. Every day that Jhonte’s gone, life seems a little harder and the world a little colder,” she said.
Terry declined to make a statement at sentencing. His 22-year sentence on the murder charge is concurrent to a 16 year sentence for two charges of assault with a deadly weapon related to the surviving victims in the shooting.