Apology from Woodward Lakes double murderer not enough to avoid max punishment

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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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A convicted double murderer delivered an apology Thursday, much too late for the families of his victims.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A convicted double murderer delivered an apology today, much too late for the families of his victims.

Brennen Fairhead and Scott Gaffney died at the hands of a friend who had just helped them successfully complete a drug deal.

The killer got a stiff punishment Thursday.

Fairhead's mother remembers him as a caring soul who went out of his way to help others, including Gary Perry, who spent four nights sleeping on Fairhead's couch in December 2017.

On the last of those nights, Fairhead had an intense dream about a pride of lions chasing him.

"Who knew that the lion was asleep in the living room on Brennen's couch?" Gwen Fairhead said.

Surveillance video from a Woodward Lakes home recorded the last living moments for Fairhead and Gaffney as Perry shot and killed them.

Fairhead's mother says the murders drove her into a depression.

"I lost my son," said Gwen Fairhead. "I lost my future. I lost wanting to find a partner. I lost trust. I lost the way I used to listen to people. I've gone and found their problems petty."

Gaffney's mother sent a letter from Arizona to the judge in Perry's case.

She said her son was capable of forgiving almost anyone.

She felt like she was also on a path to forgiveness until she heard Perry trying to avoid responsibility during the trial.

"Hearing Perry during his interview with homicide detectives snapped me out of my delusion that I had that he was remorseful," said prosecutor Deborah Miller, reading from Marlene Gaffney's letter. "The ridiculous lies. His having no culpability for the calculated, no mercy execution of Brennen and Scott."

In the end, Perry did take responsibility, but only after a jury found him guilty of murdering Fairhead and Gaffney and trying to murder a witness.

He apologized to the victims' families and friends Thursday, claiming he has the same feelings of regret now as they do, plus the burden of knowing he caused it.

"I lied to myself, family, and friends," Perry said. "I'm truly sorry for my actions. I pray that anyone who was hurt by this can find the time to forgive me."

The judge sentenced Perry to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus three more life sentences and 77 years in prison.