A Chester County man was sentenced Monday in Lancaster County Court for fatally beating a Lancaster city man last year at a Lancaster Township housing community.
Andre M. Shelton will serve 14 months to 5 years in prison on a misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of 27-year-old Anthony Hunter, a father and former standout athlete at McCaskey High School.
Hunter was fatally beaten Dec. 5, 2015, in a stairwell of Lancaster Green Apartment complex on Judie Lane during an arranged meeting for a drug transaction.
Hunter was to purchase marijuana from Shelton, but instead presented a gun and attempted to rob Shelton, according to court testimony.
“Had there not been a drug deal,” Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely said while ordering sentence, “there would been no need for a meeting, a fight, and a death.”
The judge said regardless of who started the fight, Shelton, 28, disregarded a risk that death would likely result from repeatedly beating Hunter over the head with a gun. During the fight, Shelton was able to take possession of Hunter’s gun.
Hunter died of multiple traumatic injuries to his brain, head and neck.
Assistant District Attorney Todd Kriner said Hunter “was a star athlete who unfortunately made a bad decision in this case… This [drug deal] was something that was set up by Mr. Hunter.”
Defense attorney David Clark outlined the incident, which started with Hunter asking Shelton to sell a quantity of marijuana and choosing the meeting location. Shelton’s conduct during the fight went beyond self-defense when he continued to beat Hunter after Hunter had fallen.
Kriner said that version of events was taken from police discovery and evidence and could not be disputed.
The gun used in the beating was not loaded. However, police found a loaded magazine in Hunter’s vehicle.
In court, Hunter’s brother and girlfriend asked Shelton why he did not summon help for Hunter after he had fallen.
“The flight which followed the fight,” Judge Knisely said, “is something the court must take into consideration.”
Shelton, of Coatesville, told a large group of Hunter’s relatives:
“I never had an intent at all for him to die. We got into a fight, there was a gun, I was scared and I fought back. I never once tried to take somebody’s loved one from them. I’m sorry you lost him… I was just trying to get away.”
Shelton has served 11 months in prison, which he will get credit for. His attorney asked if Shelton could serve the remainder of the sentence in county prison. Judge Knisely denied that request, ordering that Shelton serve the time in a state prison.
Manheim Township police Detective Chris Dissinger filed charges.
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