According to the landlord came to the rental unit and confronted his tenant for not paying rent. The tenant was told he either had to pay, or vacate the rental. The tenant disputed owing rent because the rental property was in foreclosure. After the argument escalated, the landlord claimed the tenant reached for a gun, and the landlord shot and killed the tenant.
The court rejected the self-defense claim first because it determined that the landlord did not have the legal right to be at his tenant’s rental unit, and the court found no evidence that the landlord was ever in any physical danger, according to the report. The police did not find a gun in the tenant’s home.
According to the report, the scene in the courtroom during the sentencing was tense, in part because a family member supporting the landlord testified that if the tenant had paid the rent, the confrontation would never have occurred.
Family members of the victim applauded when the landlord received a life sentence, according to the report.
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