|Sorrells in 1967 (aveleyman.com)|
|Sorrells in 2002|
Interviewed by detectives, the former actor's friends painted a sad picture of a man in emotional decline. Friendly and outgoing, Sorrells was a practicing vegetarian who kept a small shrine to an Eastern god in his apartment. Proud of his former screen accomplishments, he often showed friends residual checks from the Screen Actors Guild. The death of his mother and poodle in 2003, however, radically changed Sorrells' personality. He cut himself off from others, and resumed drinking. Paramedics once called to his apartment described Sorrells in their report as a "babbling drunk." A friend who spent the last decade performing with Sorrells (a talented guitarist) in a weekly jam session reported how after the deaths the elderly man began acting "weird." Sorrells started calling the man to complain of how he felt he ruined his life by "pickling his brain" with alcohol and drugs. Later, he received a threatening phone call from Sorrells announcing their friendship was over. "I don't like you," the actor said. "I have a gun and will come after you." The music group banned the aging actor, a self-professed celibate yogi with the email username "yogibob," after he propositioned one of its female members. A woman in Heywood Gardens sadly commented, "He was my friend, but he was a wacko, no doubt about it. My intuitive reaction is that he's nuts.... It's just so heartbreaking."
The damning videotape recorded by the surveillance camera in the Regency Lounge was played at a preliminary hearing in October 2004 to determine a trial date. The prosecutor likened Sorrells to a "gunfighter" in one of his 1960s Westerns. The trial date was set, Sorrells later pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder in May 2005 after a psychiatric examination determined he was sane at the time of the shooting. On July 13, 2005, Sorrells was sentenced to a prison term of 25 years to life.