Southwest MO Man Gets 15 Years in Death of Afghan War Vet

6 years 3 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, September 20 2012 Sep 20, 2012 Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:08:45 PM CDT September 20, 2012 in News
By: Associated Press

STOCKTON, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri man has pleaded guilty to last year's beating death of an Afghanistan war veteran who he said had entered his home and begun "acting crazy."

Twenty-eight-year-old Anthony Cheek was initially charged with second-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Chad Clayton. But prosecutors reduced it earlier this month to voluntary manslaughter, and Cheek pleaded to the charge Wednesday as a bench trial was about to begin.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Cheek, of Lockwood, was immediately sentenced to 15 years. But the judge could place him on probation after 120 days.

Clayton died in a hospital after being punched by Cheek, who said Clayton had head-butted him.

Family members said Clayton joined the National Guard after briefly attending college and served in Afghanistan in 2009.

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