DOYLESTOWN Nearly two years to the day after guitarist Danny DeGennaro was murdered in his Levittown home during a botched robbery attempt, the last of five defendants was sentenced Monday in Bucks County Court for his role in the crime.
Kazair Gist, 19, of Trenton, who was convicted of first- and second-degree murder in October, was sentenced to 52 to 104 years in prison.
Because of a sentencing law enacted last year, Judge Rea B. Boylan determined the penalty for Gist, who was two days shy of his 18th birthday on the day of the murder, Dec. 28, 2011. Had he been 18, he would have received a life sentence without parole.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said he was pleased with the verdict, since Gist will be in prison until he is at least 70 years old.
"This man's parole officer hasn't even been born yet," Weintraub said.
Gist's attorney, Alan Bowman, said they plan to appeal.
During the hearing, Gist told the judge that he's a good person and was wrongly convicted.
"I did not commit this crime," he said.
Weintraub responded after the hearing, "He was either being self-serving, or he was lying."
Gist did not react to Boylan's ruling. While being escorted from the courtroom, he told his family he loved them.
Family members declined to comment.
DeGennaro's daughter, Gia, cried while hugging Weintraub in the courthouse hallway.
She said that the time between her father's murder and the final sentencing had been "exhausting," and that it will be strange not working with the detectives or attending hearings.
"We're all just happy it's the last sentencing," she said. "It's been a lifestyle for two years."
Weintraub said he had never worked on a case so intense, calling it "all-consuming."
"I feel some great relief," he said after the hearing. "This was an epic battle."
Police and prosecutors spent months after the murder working to build cases against Gist and four coconspirators. They used phone records, text messages, wiretaps and surveillance, ultimately persuading two of those involved to cooperate.
The evidence was presented in two trials this year - in May for Jermaine Jackson, 21, the plot's organizer, and this fall for Gist and Breon Powell, 22, the shooters.
Jackson and Powell received life sentences.
Danasia Bakr, 19, and Tatyana Henderson, 19, both getaway drivers, who became key witnesses for the prosecution, received lighter sentences.
Bakr - a minor when the crime was committed - is at a juvenile facility. Henderson was sentenced to an additional one to two years in prison and five years' probation.
Gia DeGennaro said she had been so invested in following the case against those who killed her father that it never felt as though she had time to mourn his passing.
But with court appearances completed, she said, she can focus on organizing an event for friends and family to remember Danny DeGennaro on the second anniversary of his death.
"The grieving and the moving on starts from here," she said.