Lee’s Summit man sentenced to prison in deadly Independence shooting

Picture of Arieous K. Walton-Merritt

Arieous K. Walton-Merritt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Lee’s Summit man has been sentenced to prison in a 2020 deadly shooting outside an Independence home.

In May, a jury convicted 24-year-old Arieous K. Walton-Merritt of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. On Friday, a Jackson County judge sentenced Walton-Merritt to 10 years for each count, set to run consecutively.

Walton-Merritt was accused of killing Matthew Bland-Williams. Police found the victim shot outside a home near E. Wigwam Drive and E. Wigwam Place in Independence. He was later pronounced dead.

Police soon located a second crime scene where Walton-Merritt had collapsed in front of another home due to gunshot wounds. 

Surveillance video from the first crime scene showed Walton-Merritt fire two shots at Bland-Williams, court records say. The two then struggled over the gun, Bland-Williams got control of the gun and fired shots at Walton-Merritt as he drove away. 

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