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Cedar City • A Cedar City man was sentenced Tuesday to two consecutive prison terms of five years to life after pleading guilty to beating two men with a hammer after a dispute stemming from the fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons" and jealousy over a girl.
Zachary Frank King, 24, was sentenced by 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall on two counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated homicide stemming from the beatings on May 30, 2009.
Victim Daniel Shokrian said no matter what King's sentence, the injuries he suffered are irreversible.
"I want back the years lost and years I'm going to lose," Shokrian testified at the sentencing. "I want areas of my vision and parts of my brain back."
King was also ordered to pay restitution, but that was of little solace to victim Logan Bryson.
"Nothing can be done to repair the damage done," he told Westfall. "Any talk of monetary damage is offensive to me. No money can take away the memory of seeing my friend [Shokrian] lying in a pool of his own blood with a hole in his head."
A sobbing King, shackled and in jail clothes, told Westfall he hopes to someday start paying restitution for the victims' enormous medical bills and apologized for his actions.
"I want the families to know how deeply sorry I am," he said. "I've done something terrible, and any small things I can do to make amends, I want to do."
King's mother, Keirsten King, told the court that words can't adequately describe how badly her family feels.
"This is a no win for every family. Every family will suffer," she said.
According to testimony at his preliminary hearing, King was playing "Dungeons and Dragons" with Bryson and Shokrian the day before the attack, when Shokrian started acting "cocky," according to Cedar City Police Detective Nathan Williams. Shokrian was directing play of the game as Dungeon Master, and King apparently disliked what Shokrian was doing with King's character.
Police also testified that King had an issue with Bryson for dating a girl after both said they wouldn't go out with her.
King's attorney, Bryan Jackson, asked Westfall to run the sentences concurrently so his client could get the help he needs in a timely manner and be released earlier so he could begin paying restitution. He said King, who has been jailed since the crimes, has been an exemplary inmate and cooperated with investigators and psychologists from the beginning.
"He's ashamed of what he did and wants to make it right," Jackson said.