(Ironton) Early this year, the Missouri Supreme Court vacated an Iron County jury’s guilty verdict against a Piedmont man with a retrial ordered.
The high court says the circuit court of Iron County had erred in failing to instruct the jury as to whether Samuel Jerry Whitaker was entitled to use self-defense in order to prevent arson on his property because there was substantial evidence of an imminent threat that Whitaker’s son-in-law Carl Lee Streeval, who Whitaker shot and killed in 2013, was going to burn down a trailer on Whitaker’s property.
The first trial took place in late 2018 and the 52-year-old was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
He received 10 years and 13 years in prison to run consecutively.
Whitaker was originally charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree burglary.
The jury did acquit Whitaker of first-degree murder in the first trial but they found him guilty of the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Whitaker has already spent over three years in prison before he was released earlier this year after the high court’s ruling.
Whitaker’s new trial was set to take place next month for his original three felonies, including the murder charge.
This time, Whitaker chose not to take the chance of actually being convicted of murder, so he cut a plea deal with prosecutors earlier this month.
Whitaker actually plead guilty to the same two charges he was convicted of the first time and he received the same sentences of 10 and 13 years.
The only difference…this time the sentences will run concurrently instead of consecutively.
That means Whitaker will shave a decade off his original sentence.
Whitaker still has several years to spend in prison before he will be released.