A 29-year-old Long Beach man was sentenced to more than 50 years to life in prison for the 2006 shooting death of his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
Scott Gordon Reynolds claimed he planned to kill himself in view of his fellow AA members in front of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
Instead, he turned the gun on his sponsor once he saw 33-year-old Uriel Noriega's face, emptying the weapon and shooting the victim repeatedly.
Reynolds told the jury that he snapped after the victim told other members of AA that the defendant was gay, a secret he claimed he had told only to his mother and to Noriega.
The victim's sponsor testified that Noriega had come to him for help in dealing with Reynolds, but that the information never went any further than the two men.
Under the rules of the program, information shared between a sponsor and their sponsee is confidential. New sponsors, such as Noriega, who are in training can also go to their sponsors for help if needed.