Double murder decision: Guilty in Woodward Lakes drug deal gone bad

Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Double murder decision: Guilty in Woodward Lakes drug deal gone bad
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A man has been found guilty for the double homicide at a northeast Fresno subdivision in 2017.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A jury decided Tuesday afternoon that a Fresno man murdered two friends after they wrapped up a big drug deal in northeast Fresno.

The week-long trial against Gary Perry came to a close Tuesday.

Perry's defense was limited by the fact that he admitted to killing Brennen Fairhead and then killing Scott Gaffney to eliminate a witness.

Brennen Fairhead drove into Woodward Lakes to drop off a friend after successfully completed drug deal in December 2017.

He died before he could drive out.

Home surveillance recorded the gunfire that killed Fairhead and Scott Gaffney.

Their friend, Gary Perry later told police he shot Fairhead by accident, then killed Gaffney to protect himself from exposure.

"Scott was exiting so since Brennen was shot, I went towards Scott and fired at him because he saw me," Perry told Fresno police detectives.

Prosecutors charged Perry with two counts of first degree murder as well as the attempted murder of Michael Rackley, who escaped from the violent end of the deal.

Perry's defense attorney said no physical evidence proves he shot at Rackley.

And she argued Perry never intended to kill Fairhead, just like he told detectives.

"If you were trying to mitigate, if you were trying to get out of this, you would say it was all an accident," said Emily Takao. "But he was telling the truth. He said 'Look, I didn't want any witnesses. I didn't want Scott to get me in trouble. But Brennen was an accident.'"

"Yes, he claims the initial shot was an accident," said prosecutor Deborah Miller. "But even, even if that first shot was an accident, he shot him three more times. He pulled him out of the car and he made sure that Brennen was dead."

Jurors only needed a couple hours of deliberation to reach their verdict.

Perry will get life in prison without the possibility of parole when he's sentenced next month.

The victims' family members cried in relief when they heard the verdict.