Lee’s Summit Man Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter, Armed Criminal Action in Fatal Independence Shooting

A Lee’s Summit man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Matthew Bland-Williams in 2020 outside an Independence, Missouri residence, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

A Jackson County judge sentenced Arieous K. Walton-Merrit to 10 years in prison for his Involuntary Manslaughter conviction and 10 years for his conviction of an Armed Criminal Action. A Jackson County jury in early May convicted the defendant of both counts. The judge on Friday set the 10-year sentences to run consecutively.

According to court records filed today, Independence police were dispatched Thursday to the 18800 block of E. Wigwam Place in Independence on a shooting. Officers found the victim in the front of the residence. He was later pronounced dead at Centerpoint Medical Center. Police soon identified a second scene after the defendant collapsed in front of another Independence residence due to gun shots wounds. He was transported to North Kansas City Hospital. Surveillance video from a neighbor of the Wigwam scene showed the defendant firing two shots at the victim before a struggle began. The victim gets the gun away and fires shots at the defendant as he starts to drive away.

Patrick Norris

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