Don Ford, initially charged with the murder of Kintae Omar James, pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years' probation.
Ford, 78, pleaded to criminally negligent homicide before Russell County Circuit Court Judge Albert Johnson in a deal brokered between prosecutors and defense attorneys. Ford was charged with murder and indicted on misdemeanor counts of false reporting and tampering with evidence. Those were dropped when he pleaded to the misdemeanor negligent homicide of the 27-year-old.
Authorities said James entered Ford's store on March 8, 2005, and put a snack on the counter. When Ford opened the cash register, James reached in to get the money and Ford shot him once in the chest. After the unarmed James left the store, Ford shot at him again but missed.
See Wednesday's Ledger Enquirer for more on this story.