Two life sentences in drug-related double murder

Posted: May 03, 2014

Even at age 31, Fernando Real's future is assured: two consecutive life terms without chance of parole, plus 21 to 67 years.

But just in case Real wasn't sure, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson was as plain as possible: You're never getting out of prison alive.

"In all my years of doing this, I have never encountered a person more dangerous than you," Bronson told Real before sentencing him Thursday for a 2002 double murder.

Real was nonchalant. He said nothing before sentencing.

Then again, he had just fired court-appointed lawyer Gerald A. Stein - who in February helped persuade a jury to not sentence Real to death - and told Bronson he would handle his own appeals.

"I got it right here," Real said, pointing to his brown-cardboard accordion file of legal papers.

"He's already serving another life sentence," said Assistant District Attorney Gail Fairman afterward. "He doesn't care. What else can they do to him?"

Real was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 9, 2002, shootings of Byron Story and Marcus Herbert, both 18, in what police called a drug-related robbery-murder.

Bronson didn't seem convinced of the motive. "You slaughtered two people for nothing, for less than nothing," he said.

Both teens were shot about 4:30 a.m. outside Herbert's home in the 5200 block of Hawthorne Street in Frankford. Story was shot in the head and died on the sidewalk; Herbert was shot twice in the back and died 13 months later.

Real was not arrested for the killings until 2007. By then, he was two years into a life term for another 2002 murder.

He also pleaded guilty in two incidents in September 2004 in which he stabbed and seriously wounded two fellow inmates - one in the holding cell of the Criminal Justice Center - with a homemade knife he concealed in his anus.

"You've had 40 misconducts in prison," Bronson said. "You are an extremely dangerous person."


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

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