Jarrod Wyatt, the former MMA fighter, who committed a frenzied 2010 killing of his sparring partner after drinking psychedelic mushroom tea, was sentenced to 47 years in state prison today.
Having already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder involving mayhem, today’s hearing before Superior Court Judge William Follett consisted of a short recitation of Wyatt’s crimes, followed by the display of a video tribute to Taylor Powell, 21, and a series of victim impact statements from the victim’s family.
The moving video retrospective of the young man’s life drew tears from the gallery. Afterwards his mother, Kathy Powell, told the court that her son “tried to look tough, but deep down he was like a big teddy bear… Never did I imagine that his life would end this way.”
Wyatt, 27, butchered his friend, even cutting out his heart and tongue. In the end, Judge Follett saw no real option other than a harsh sentence: “The murders I see are so often senseless, but the brutality and horror involved in this case exceed all of the bounds I have seen,” he concluded.
Local TV station KIEM reported that a shackled Wyatt showed little emotion as his fate was read aloud to the court. Just a few feet away, Taylor Powell’s mother sobbed.
After the hearing Del Norte District Attorney Jon Alexander told the media that Wyatt’s long prison sentence is cold comfort: “I don’t think anytime you have the death of one boy and the loss of another in prison for the rest of his life, the devastation of two families, I don’t know how we can quantify that in wins or losses.”