Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for Independence killing



INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old Lee’s Summit man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an Independence man to death last year.

Jackson County prosecutors said Friday that Arieous Walton-Merritt was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the death of Matthew Bland-Williams in July 2020.

Court documents say Bland-Williams was found collapsed in front of a home and Walton-Merritt at a different home, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

Detectives said surveillance video showed Walton-Merritt firing two shots before the two men struggled. Court records said Bland-Williams wrestled the gun away and fired at Walton-Merritt as he fled.

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