LANCASTER – A Lake Los Angeles man who shot his next-door neighbor in the chest after an argument last year has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
An Antelope Valley jury last week found 59-year-old Michael Robert Norton guilty in connection with the death of 46-year-old William Kenneth Mayes, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
The fatal shooting occurred on the night of March 19, 2013 in the 38600 Block of 159th Street East, sheriff’s officials said.
Mayes, a single father, had recently moved to the neighborhood with his daughters, according to family members.
Before the shooting, both neighbors had been drinking alcohol at Mayes’ home when an argument ensued, Sheriff’s investigators said on the night of the incident.
Mayes accused Norton of making sexually suggestive comments about his teenage daughter, and the two men got into a fist fight with Mayes threatening to kill Norton, according to court documents.
Norton returned home but came back outside with a gun, sheriff’s officials said. Mayes was shot to death in his front yard.
Norton is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20. He faces a minimum of six years in state prison and a maximum penalty of up to 21 years, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Editor’s note 5/29/14: This story has been corrected. Norton was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was amended to voluntary manslaughter before the trial started, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
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