Man Killed In Upstate New York By Hudson Valley ‘Childhood Best Friend’
A man was murdered by his best friend while consoling his Hudson Valley mother.
The man's killer was sentenced in Ulster County Court on Wednesday.
Ulster Man Sentenced For Killing Best Friend
Gregory Thayer, 50, of Town of Ulster, NY, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for manslaughter and 15 years in prison for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. The sentences run concurrently.
In May, Thayer was found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree in a non-jury trial before Judge Bryan Rounds in Ulster County Court for the killing of Bruce Swierc, of California and Rhinebeck.
What Happened In The Town Of Ulster, New York
Officials say that he came to visit his mother in Rhinebeck to help console her because she lost her partner a few months after losing her sister.
Swierc and Thayer were "childhood best friends," according to the Ulster County DA's office.
An Ulster County Grand Jury indicted Thayer for murder but the judge found that he suffered extreme emotional disturbance and reduced the conviction to manslaughter.
According to the Ulster County DA's office:
Thayer was “pissed off” that Bruce was “talking trash” and “making f----d up comments”; so he went upstairs to his bedroom, got a gun, returned downstairs to the kitchen and shot Bruce in the back of the head while he was sitting at the Defendants kitchen table.
After shooting Bruce in the back of his head, Thayer called his sister, Stephanie Thayer, instead of 911 or police; removed the bullets from the gun, took pictures of the victim with his phone, etc.