In July 2013, a man was seen on surveillance video approaching another man at an apartment complex in western Pennsylvania. The same video shows the approaching man making threatening gestures with a machete. What happened next led to the death of one of the men and resulted in the other facing criminal charges.
To defend himself, the man shot the man who was carrying the machete in the leg. Unfortunately, the wound turned out to be fatal. Police took the shooter into custody on charges connected to the other man’s death, drugs and weapons. Supposedly, the two were involved in a $20 dispute.
Recently, the man entered a guilty plea to one count of voluntary manslaughter and one drug count. The remaining charges related to drugs and weapons were dismissed in accordance with the plea agreement between the man and prosecutors. The man’s attorney reported that he accepted responsibility for the death of the other man.
The man believed that he shot the other man in self defense on that day in 2013. However, he finally came to the conclusion that his actions may not have been reasonable considering what went on at the time. Information regarding his sentencing was not reported.
An individual facing criminal charges may experience fear and confusion. The possibility of losing his or her freedom is frightening enough, but other consequences inevitably follow an accusation of criminal activity — notwithstanding the life-altering changes that can occur if Pennsylvania prosecutors secure a conviction. When going to trial is riskier than taking a plea agreement, taking a plea bargain could provide an individual with an opportunity for maintaining and/or regaining as much of a normal life as possible.
Source: lancasteronline.com, “Man pleads to manslaughter in apartment complex slaying”, March 14, 2015