ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) — It’s been nearly two years since officers with the St. George Police Department rushed to the One and Only Bar on reports of gunfire.
Spencer Tafua, a father of four who was 34 at the time, was shot with an assault rifle and later died at the hospital on Dec. 29 of 2018.
This week, the man convicted of his murder was sentenced in Fifth District Court in St. George.
Detectives had determined the shooting was the result of a dispute between Tafua and 28-year-old Bronson Flynn that began inside the bar and found its way to the front of an adjacent business.
In March, a jury found Flynn guilty of all seven charges: first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor charges of DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, exhibition of weapons, and carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, a dozen of Tafua’s relatives described their lost loved one to the court as a good father and caring family man.
Flynn, with little criminal history prior to the shooting, has remained in custody since his arrest hours after the shooting. He has maintained that he was being pursued by the victim and acted in self-defense, asking the judge for a second chance.
“Your honor, I am not a bad man,” Flynn told the judge. “It was a bad night and under bad circumstances that our paths crossed. I’ve learned a lot during my time incarcerated about myself, about life, how fragile it is and how quickly it can change for better or worse.”
He called Tafua’s family members “good people” and asked to earn their forgiveness one day.
“I am not a killer; however, I will always have to live with having taken a life,” he said.
The judge sentenced him to serve 15 years to life in prison for first-degree murder, up to 10 years for two counts of aggravated assault, and two and a half years on the firearm, drug, weapon, and DUI charges.
The judge ordered that all sentences be run concurrently at Utah State Prison.