The death of Dan Killian was a sad event—maybe even for his killer. I don’t think the culprit planned to kill Dan Killian; there was nothing in the evidence to suggest this was a premeditated murder. Premeditation means a gun, a knife, poison, maybe a strangling, but flipping someone over a railing so they would drop to their death 12 stories below, that sounds more like a spur-of-the-moment thing. Was this murder of rage or one of convenience without malice aforethought?
Have you ever done something stupid—I mean, really stupid—and then wished you hadn’t? But you acted on impulse, and in a flash, in a matter of seconds, it was over and done with, and you couldn’t take it back? Such was the case with Sherman Holmes. He was subdued when police arrested him, and was remorseful from then right through his trial.
His interaction with other Whirlybine employees was very normal the morning of Dan’s death. And the fact that Sherman Holmes did not seem to have any intent to harm Dan Killian—and because of his exemplary record—the judge handed down a sentence of 36 months for voluntary manslaughter for the gilt-ridden defendant. Even the other workers at Whirlybines hoped the pleasant accountant would have his numbers reduced.