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Man sentenced to 20-plus years for 2018 murder of Tempe fire captain

Kyle Brayer, left, and Hezron Parks (City of Tempe and Scottsdale Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX — A man was sentenced to 20-plus years in prison Monday for the murder of an off-duty Tempe Fire Department captain during an altercation in Scottsdale last year.

A jury convicted Hezron Parks, 22, last month of second-degree murder and 13 other counts related to the death of 34-year-old Kyle Brayer.

His bid for a new trial was rejected earlier this month. He was sentenced by a Maricopa Superior Court judge to 22 years in prison plus 2½ years of probation after a hearing that lasted several hours Monday.

He’ll be credited with 602 days served in jail.

Parks, of Belize, acknowledged firing his gun after being approached by Brayer in the early morning of Feb. 4, 2018, but argued he was provoked and did so in self-defense.

Parks said he didn’t know he’d hit Brayer until seeing media reports about it. He turned himself in later that day.

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the area of Stetson Drive and Civic Center Plaza in Old Town Scottsdale. It was the weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the streets were crowded despite the late hour.

Police at the time said Brayer had been riding on the back of a golf cart when Parks nearly rear-ended the cart several times with his Scion coupe.

Brayer then exited the cart, approached Parks and was shot in the head. He died after being taken to a hospital.

Parks told police that he felt threatened by Brayer. He also believed the gun was unloaded when he pulled the trigger, as he did not usually keep the weapon loaded, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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