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Man charged with murdering teen pleads guilty to lesser charge

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

It wasn't a murder charge 24-year-old William Thornton plead guilty to today.

"You are telling me you are guilty of count one's amended manslaughter in the 2nd degree?", the judge asked William Thornton.
"Yes sir", he answered.

Lexington police say he shot 19-year-old Michael Hanley outside a Lexington Shell station in September. The family of Michael Hanley..say they were outraged in court as prosecutors told the Judge that Hanley may have instigated the incident.

"We believe the jury would consider self-defense in this case", prosecutors told the courtroom.

The family was also upset the other charge Thornton faced of being a convicted felon in charge of a handgun was dismissed. They left the courtroom yelling to the judge.

"Please remember that judge! He should have never had a gun. Please remember. He should have never had a handgun", Dawn Turpin, the aunt of Michael Hanley said.

"I just don't think justice was served today because they just threw away a gun charge and persistent felony offender", said the victim's mother, Tammy Hanley.

"He went to his car and got a gun that should have never had in that car, that should have never been around him!", says Dawn Turpin.

The mother and family of Michael Hanley say they are just hopeful for a harsher punishment at final sentencing than the 10 years recommended.

"I don't care what he did that night. One night can't make up for 19 years", says Tammy Hanley.

"I pray to God the judge listens to what I said", says Dawn Turpin.

Should Michael Thornton receive the 10 years recommended sentence, we're told he would be eligible for parole after two years. He's been in jail since September, meaning he could be out roughly in about 16 months.

He denied requests for an interview.


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