Convicted shooter in Paso attack sentenced to 25 years

Handing down the sentence at the end of what he called a “tragic” case, Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera issued the maximum possible prison term Thursday for an Atascadero man who shot his ex-girlfriend and fired at her male friend last year.

Troy Allen Sykes, 32, received a 25-year sentence after a jury convicted him Nov. 1.

Sykes was acquitted on two attempted murder charges. The jury found him guilty of one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, residential burglary and child endangerment.

The sentencing was highlighted by emotional statements from Erik Skupian, whom Sykes shot at but missed, and Mike Weber, the father of Amy Weber, Sykes’ ex-girlfriend and the mother of their child.

Amy Weber was hit by bullets in the head and shoulder in front of their son at the victim’s Paso Robles home July 6, 2010.

“You need to stop blaming other people,” Skupian told Sykes in court. “You need to stop blaming me, stop blaming Amy and blame yourself. You need to take responsibility.”

Skupian disputed Sykes’ contention that he went to Weber’s home July 6 to take his own life.

“When were you planning to commit suicide?” he asked.

Skupian told the court the sequence of events after Sykes fired the gun.

Skupian jumped off a balcony after being shot at. Amy Weber was shot and then fought to gain control of the gun from Sykes when a bullet went off that struck him in the abdomen, according to the prosecution.

In court, Mike Weber called Sykes a bully who threatened to harm his daughter if she left him.

Mike Weber recalled seeing Sykes throw furniture out of the house one day when he came to see his daughter.

Another time, he told the court, Sykes had beaten up a man who had tried to talk to his daughter. Mike Weber said he took the victim to the hospital.

“Troy had a total disregard for Amy, a woman half his size,” Mike Weber said. “ If it weren’t for a few centimeters, he’d be in here for murder.”

Sykes wasn’t given an opportunity to speak by LaBarbera, who called the case tragic, particularly its impact on their now 5-year-old son who, the judge said, will be scarred for life.

LaBarbera said this case is an example of why abusers are sentenced to undergo counseling program for batterers after convictions of domestic violence crimes.

Defense attorney Paul Phillips said the jury applied the facts of the case to the law. The reason the case went to trial was because he wouldn’t accept a 48-year prison plea offer.

Outside of court, Phillips also said the case involved a lot of dysfunction and horrible circumstances.

Shouting was heard as groups of family and friends on opposing sides of the case were leaving the court Thursday. But bailiffs and security guards intervened and the groups separated, departing without incident.

As Amy Weber left the courtroom, Troy Sykes said to her: “I hope that works for you, Amy.”