The son of an Akron man who was shot in November 2017 was so emotional Wednesday during the sentencing for the two men convicted of killing his father that he had trouble saying his own name.

When Ranier Alexander was able to speak, he called what happened to his father “evil.”

“My dad did not deserve what happened to him,” he said between sobs. “He did not deserve to leave this earth in the way he did. That was just some evil stuff.”

Alexander’s tearful statement was part of the emotional sentencing for Jerry Alford and Dexter Moore, two Akron men who were found guilty by a Summit County jury last month in the shooting death of Dereke Alexander, 57, outside an Akron convenience store.

The jurors found Alford, 36, not guilty of aggravated murder, a charge that means a person acted with premeditation, but guilty of murder. They found Moore, 34, Alford’s co-defendant, not guilty of one charge of felonious assault but guilty of another type.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Joy Oldfield sentenced Alford to life in prison with possible parole after 21 years and Moore to six years in prison.

Both Alford and Moore plan to appeal.

Alford and Moore were shown on surveillance footage at the Baho convenience store, 460 W. Market St., watching Alexander in the store and then following him outside where he turned up Oakdale Avenue, the street where he lived. Moments later, several people heard gunshots and Alexander was found with four gunshot wounds. The video doesn’t show the shooting.

Prosecutors said Alford was the shooter but that Moore was complicit by watching Alexander’s movements and pointing out to Alford where he went. Police found Alford’s spit and cellphone near Alexander’s body.

Toni Brown, Alexander’s sister, talked during the sentencing about the pain Alexander’s death has caused. She said the siblings grew up without a mother and with a father who worked three jobs, so Dereke helped care for them.

“That’s why it hurt so bad,” she said. “Every day we wake up in pain because he’s not here any more. He wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for us. We miss him dearly.”

Dominic Finney, Dereke’s brother, urged Oldfield to impose a harsh sentence on Alford. He pointed to Alford’s prior record and said he has been “terrorizing” the Crosby Street area for many years.

“Don’t let him off easy so he kills someone else’s brother,” he said.

Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel said the dispute had to do with $60 that Alexander owed Alford. He said this ranks as one of the most senseless and — to quote Alexander’s son — “evil” acts he’s seen.

Baumoel urged Oldfield to impose the maximum sentence of life with possible parole after 21 years.

Ed Smith, who represented Alford with attorney John Alexander, however, asked Oldfield to consider imposing the minimum sentence — life with possible parole after 18 years.

When Alford spoke, he proclaimed his innocence and vowed to appeal.

“I’m sorry for the victim’s family but I did not commit this crime,” he said. “I did not murder someone.”

Oldfield sentenced Alford to life in prison for the murder charge, three years on a gun specification and three years for having a weapon under disability, which means he was prohibited from having a firearm. He will be eligible for parole after 21 years.

Baumoel said the jury concluded Moore aided Alford in Alexander’s killing. He urged Oldfield to impose the maximum eight-year sentence.

Brian Pierce, Moore’s attorney, however, asked Oldfield to consider placing Moore on probation with a requirement that he spend time in a local community correction program.

Pierce said he doesn’t understand the jury’s conclusion that his client was not guilty of felonious assault that means to cause harm with a deadly weapon but guilty of this charge for causing serious harm to a person. The jury also found Moore not guilty of a gun specification.

“I’m still at a loss of what was proven regarding his role in this offense,” Pierce said.

Moore declined to speak at the advice of Pierce.

Oldfield said she thinks the jury concluded Moore acted in concert with Alford but didn’t know he had a gun or planned to kill Alexander. She said Moore also has a lengthy record, was on probation for a drug offense when this shooting occurred and hasn’t done well in local corrections facilities. She said she didn’t think probation was appropriate.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.