Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Independence Killing

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A Lee’s Summit man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the fatal shooting of an Independence man last year.

Arieous K. Walton-Merritt, 24, was given two consecutive 10-year prison sentences for involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action for the killing of Matthew Bland-Williams, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Prosecutors said Bland-Williams was found collapsed in front of an Independence home on July 23, 2020 and Walton-Merritt was found at a nearby home. Both men were suffering from gunshot wounds.

Surveillance video showed Walton-Merritt firing two gunshots before the men struggled, according to court documents. Bland-Williams pulled the gun away and fired at Walton-Merritt as he fled, authorities said.