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Man given ten year sentence for manslaughter

A Lexington man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for the shooting death of another man.

24-year-old William Thornton pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Michael Hanley.

While the victim's family says they're disappointed in the sentence, they also say they're happy to finally have some closure in the case.

Thornton admitted to killing Hanley last September, near the Shell gas station at North Broadway and New Circle Road.

Thornton pleaded not guilty to the original murder charge, but last month, he pleaded guilty to a lesser manslaughter charge.

"I'm just ready to put it behind me and start to heal, that's what I'm ready to do," Tammy Hanley, Michael Hanley's mother said.

"They can move on with it, the Hanley family, and we're gonna get through, you know," William Jackson, William Thornton's father said.

While ten years was the recommended sentence for Thornton, Hanley's family thinks it's just not enough.

"He got a slap on the wrist, and it's sending a message... not a very good message," Tammy Hanley said.

Just before the judge handed down the sentence Friday morning, Thornton wanted to say he was sorry.

"I would just like to apologize to the Hanley family," Thornton said. "I know it is hard for them right now, and I just want to say I am sorry. I hope you all can forgive me for the crimes I have done."

"That's the first time he did apologize, so I did take that into consideration," Tammy Hanley said. "So that makes me feel a little better."

Thornton will likely be eligible for parole.

Michael Hanley would have turned 20 on May 26.


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