FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Six years after a shootout at a Fort Wayne nightclub, a man convicted of homicide was handed a prison sentence that will likely mean life behind bars.

James Ellis Starks III was sentenced Monday to 88 years, just short of the maximum sentence of 93 years. He was given 250 days credit for time served in Allen County Jail while his case wound through the legal system.

Starks was 23 when the shootout happened on April 9, 2017, in the former Bleu Diamond nightclub. In July of this year, a jury found him guilty of murder in the death of Marcus Rogan, who Starks shot 10 times before wounding three others in the crowd. A gun police retrieved at a traffic stop in November 2017 was traced back to Starks.

Starks was charged in November 2021 with murder, criminal recklessness, and carrying a handgun without a license. Murder carries a sentence of between 45 and 65 years, while the other two Level 5 felonies carry sentences between one and six years each.

Starks walked into the sentencing, jangling chains, and appeared confident. When Judge David Zent asked him if he had anything to say, his response was short.

“I remain silent,” he said. When he walked out, he called loudly to his family, “I love you.”

But this time, the Rogan family had more to say. Zikesha Rogan said she lost her best friend, her little brother.

“If it was up to me, you’d get the death penalty,” Zikesha Rogan said. Not only did he shoot Marcus Rogan and kill him, “but you shot all those other people. You are the worst of the worst when it comes to human beings,” noting the smile on his face in court and during the trial proceedings.

“Was it worth it?” she asked. Starks will have a chance to speak to his children, she said; Marcus’ daughter will only hear his voice in a Build-a-Bear. “I hate you and I will always hate you.”

Marcus Rogan’s mother, Lakeisha Rogan, had the last word.

“You didn’t just kill him,” Rogan said. “You killed yourself. “