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Second man sentenced in Nova Gallman shooting; Family reacts to Adrian Dunn's jail term

Posted at 3:48 PM, Jun 11, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than 3 ½ years after a shooting claimed the life of then-two-year-old Nova Gallman inside her home, the second man convicted in connection to her killing was sentenced.

Following the manslaughter statute, and the recommendation of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Circuit Court Judge Julie Goodman sentenced Adrian Dunn to 15 years for the shooting and an additional five for evidence tampering. Those terms will run concurrently.

“Fifteen years. They’re doing fifteen years. Nova is doing eternity, and so are we, because we’re doing it with her,” said Tammye Sparks, Nova’s Great Grandmother.

When Sparks said ‘they,’ she was also referring to 23-year-old Marquis Thurman, who was sentenced to 18 years back in March for his role on that night in 2016. Dunn, who was initially charged with murder, entered a guilty plea on the manslaughter charge in exchange for his testimony during Thurman’s trial. He spoke to Gallman’s family during Thursday’s virtual hearing.

“We never thought this would happen. Like I said, I would never harm a little kid. We didn’t know it would happen,” Dunn said before asking for forgiveness. “If you don’t, just listen to my apology that I am sorry that it happened.”

The conclusion of a trial, such as this, coupled with final sentencing, is supposed to offer closure for surviving family members. It’s supposed to signal justice for the victim. For Sparks, however, this was neither. She said she’d attend any future parole hearings, and did not feel as if 15 years was a fair sentence given what he took from Nova and the family.

“We won’t get to see her graduate high school. We won’t get to see her get married. We won’t get to see her have her first child,” Sparks said while fighting back the tears. “They’ll be out in so many years and go on with life. But Nova won’t.”