William S. Thornton, charged in the September shooting death of 19-year-old Michael Hanley during a confrontation at a local gas station, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.
Thornton, 24, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal. He originally was charged with murder, being a persistent felony offender and a being a felon in possession of a handgun. The latter two charges were dropped, and the murder charge was amended.
Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson has said evidence indicated Hanley was the initial aggressor in the incident. Larson said that Hanley, who was white, had Ku Klux Klan and swastika tattoos on his body and had previously "thrown out" racial slurs to Thornton, who is black.
Thornton, at his sentencing hearing Friday in Fayette Circuit Court, apologized to Hanley's family and his own family.
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"I just hope everybody can forgive me for the thing I've done wrong," he said.
But Thornton's words and the sentence he received were not enough for Hanley's mother, Tammy Hanley, who was in the courtroom.
"I do not think justice was served," she said after the hearing. However, she said that Thornton's apology made her feel a little better.