• Convicted murderers receive life sentences

    By: Tom Jones

    Updated:

    CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Two men convicted of murdering a 25-year-old father of three during a home invasion were sentenced to life in prison.

    Denirio Cunningham and Joseph Harris shot David Rucker as he tried to protect his family.

    Harris was good friends with Rucker and had previously visited Rucker's home.

    Angela Rucker, the victim's mother, gave a victim impact statement recounting the last time she saw her son.

    "I really only have one question. And it's 'Why'" she said.

    Cunningham's mother cried and apologized to Rucker's family.

    "And I prayed from the time this all began that Lord would give you peace," said Jane Travick.

    Rucker's wife, Ashley, didn't give a victim impact statement, sitting with her eyes closed during the hearing.

    Clayton County Judge Matthew Simmons called the murder of David Rucker "completely senseless" and added 25 additional years to Cunningham's sentence. Harris received 20 additional years.

    Prosecutor Jason called Cunningham and Harris a menace and said the men broke into Rucker's home to steal flat-screen televisions and electronics.

    "No one is safe," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're a stranger or a close friend.

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