A Green County man who killed a man in his south-side Janesville driveway last year could be 70 years old before he is released from prison.
Lucas E. Stuhr, 40, nearly emptied the magazine of his 9 mm handgun as he shot Clifford A. “Tony” Grice on Jan. 23, 2019, said Assistant District Attorney Mason Braunschweig during Stuhr’s sentencing Friday in Rock County Court.
Judge Barbara McCrory sentenced Stuhr, of Browntown, to 30 years in prison, followed by 15 years of extended supervision, on a charge of second-degree intentional homicide. The maximum was 40 years plus 20 years of supervision.
Stuhr pleaded guilty to the charge after it was reduced from first-degree intentional homicide, which would have meant a life sentence.
Grice was described as a loving father who was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for a number of years. His daughters wrote that Grice tried to see the good in people, a trait they said they tried to emulate, McCrory said.
Some of Grice’s relatives, either in tears or angrily, called for the maximum sentence.
They spoke during the hearing, which was streamed on YouTube. Their faces were not shown. Grieving loved ones have been identified in the past, but they no longer will be because of the state Constitution change, which voters approved in the April referendum known as Marsy’s Law.
“They are entitled to their privacy. They did not come into the criminal justice system by choice,” District Attorney David O’Leary, co-prosecutor in the case, said in an email.
One relative said Grice was the family’s “rock” when his younger brother died. She asked for the maximum sentence, “since no amount of sentence will ever be able to bring our son and father back into our lives again.”
A man identified as Grice’s brother said he lost two brothers in eight months and suffered severe emotional distress.
“I can forgive, but I will never forget what you have taken from my family,” the man said. “... I hope this rots in your brain for the rest of your life.”
The state Department of Corrections recommended a sentence of 25 to 30 years plus 15 years of supervision. Defense attorneys Walter Isaacson and Jason Sanders recommended 15 plus 15.
Braunschweig recommended the maximum but asked McCrory not to go below 30 plus 15.
“Anything less than that, I don’t think it would justify the death of Mr. Grice,” Braunschweig said.
Psychological assessments showed a low chance of Stuhr committing another violent crime, but Braunschweig said he doubted the assessments’ ability to predict in this case, especially because of a 2008 case in which Stuhr was convicted of battery for an attack in a similar situation with a different girlfriend.
Isaacson told of relatives and others who knew Stuhr as hard-working and well-liked.
“The shooting of Mr. Grice was way out of character and completely unexpected by anyone who knows Lucas,” Isaacson said.
Isaacson suggested Stuhr was suffering mental health problems, in part because he blamed himself for the death of his cousin in a traffic crash.
McCrory said Stuhr was diagnosed as suffering from a major depression, anxiety and having traits of post-traumatic stress.
Stuhr apologized, saying he thinks about what he did every day.
“It’s not the man I am, and the people that are closest to me know this is not who I am. I pray every day for forgiveness. I will pray for Tony the rest of my life.”
Grice, of Janesville, was 41 when he died.
A woman who was sitting in a car next to Grice when he was shot told police she had lived with Stuhr and had an on-again, off-again relationship with him. She said Stuhr had repeatedly threatened to kill Grice after he found out about her relationship with Grice, according to the criminal complaint.
McCrory said she believed Stuhr is remorseful, but she noted that on the day of the murder, Stuhr had opportunities to walk away.