(Sumter) Feb. 28, 2005 - The man convicted of killing a Sumter County Sheriff's Deputy was on Sunday sentenced to death for a second time. The jury deliberated about three-and-a-half hours before returning the death sentence for Bobby Wayne Stone, 39 after five days of emotional testimony..
The South Carolina Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing hearing in 2002, saying the first jury should have been told that a life sentence would mean Stone had no chance for parole. Stone was convicted in 1997 of killing Sergeant Charlie Kubala and sentenced him to death.
Investigators say a burglar gunned down Kubala when the sergeant responded to a call in 1996 before Kubala could fire back. This past Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the officer's death. Hundreds came to the funeral of the man who was not only a fallen officer, but also a beloved husband and father.
Defense attorney Cam Littlejohn is glad the trial is over, "It was a difficult case, and it was hard on everybody, including the defendant's family and the victim's family. It was a very emotional situation. We're glad it's over. We're not happy with the outcome, but we're glad it's over."
Sumter County Solicitor Kelly Jackson was also looking for closure, "The death penalty has been rendered two times for the murder that Bobby Stone committed, and we hope that this will put some closure to this case to the Sumter community and the Kubala family."
The families and friends involved recounted their feelings and experiences at the time of Sergeant Kubala's murder. Captain Gene Hobbs broke the news of the shooting to Kubala's wife, "And, I did literally the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, I told her Charlie Kubala was dead."
Tommy Mims was Sumter Sheriff at the time. He says recounting it for the second time was worse than the first, "That night, talking to his family, his wife, children, his mom and dad. Miss him, miss him."
Sheriff Anthony Dennis says the Sergeant is missed, "He was a very well respected officer; he is truly missed by our department. He's a good officer, father, and son. He left hole in the department when he left."
Reported by Tamara King