Alabama man gets life in prison for shooting man in head over Cracker Barrel parking spot

Published 9:26 pm Saturday, September 4, 2021

A man found guilty of killing another man during a 2019 dispute over a parking spot at an Alabama restaurant has been sentenced to life without parole.

Bryan Patrick Hancock, 24, was convicted of capital murder in the March 28, 2019, slaying of Randy DeWayne Young, 40. Prosecutors said the shooting in Trussville happened after Hancock used racial slurs against Young. Hancock is white and Young was Black.

Judge Clyde Jones handed down the sentence Thursday after Young’s family talked about life without him, reported.

”I thank the Lord for allowing me 40 years with him,” Monica Young Shepard said of her son. “He is truly missed. And I am going to be OK.”

Hancock did not make a statement before sentencing. After Young’s family left the courtroom, the judge allowed Hancock’s family to hug him. Hancock and his family both cried.

Defense attorneys had claimed Hancock acted in self-defense and was intoxicated when the deadly shooting took place. Several witnesses testified for the defense that they did not hear any racial slurs used.

Young and his 69-year-old stepfather, Robert Lee Shepard, went to eat dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Trussville that night. Afterward, Shepard went outside to smoke a cigarette while Young paid the bill and ordered food to take home to his mother.

While outside, Matt Jeffers and Hancock pulled up in a truck that parked in a way that blocked Young’s car. Shepard asked Jeffers to move the vehicle and Jeffers said he was going to go inside and talk to a friend and order food first.

Jeffers told Shepard he had a bad day, and then asked Shepard for a cigarette which Shepard gave him. Shepard finished his cigarette and went back inside, exiting a few moments later with Young. The truck was still blocking them in, so Shepard said he went back inside to ask the driver to move.

Young approached Hancock, who was still sitting in the passenger’s seat, and there was a discussion about getting the truck moved. After several failed attempts, Young told Hancock to move his truck.

At that point, Shepard and Jeffers emerged from the restaurant. By then, Hancock was out of the truck and, as he squeezed in between the two vehicles, he said, “(Expletive) you n(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)s,” Shepard testified. He then got back into the truck.

Young got upset at the use of the racial slur, a prosecutor said, and replied something to the effect of, if he called him that name again, he would kick him. Young then reached into the truck and punched Hancock in the face before backing away. Within seconds, according to testimony, Hancock shot Young in the head. Young was pronounced dead two days later at UAB Hospital.