Letcher Co. man convicted of manslaughter

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

A Letcher County man is found guilty of manslaughter, not murder, in a case that goes back to 2010 when Samuel Collier shot and killed Mark Sturgill.

The final day of Samuel Todd Collier's murder trial started with closing arguments after the judge announced the defense would not call any witnesses to the stand.

Once the jury got the case it took six hours for them to come back with a second degree manslaughter conviction.

During the penalty phase, the jury heard from Mark Sturgill's wife Melissa about how Mark's death has affected her family.

"And Mr. Collier although you took a gun on Mark and took his life, you might as well have put one to my 14-year -old sons Caleb's head because he is dead," said Melissa Sturgill from the stand.

The defense also did not call any witnesses during the penalty phase, and asked the jury to not let emotions decide the recommended sentence.

The jury came back with a recommended ten year sentence for Collier.

Commonwealth's Attorney Edison Banks says that Collier will be up for parole after serving 20 percent, or two years, of that sentence.

Defense Attorney James Wiley Craft says he is pleased Collier did not get convicted of murder, but says this is a tough case for everyone involved.

No word yet on when Collier will be sentenced.

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