A man whose murder conviction for killing a man he thought broke into his South Carolina home was overturned has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge before a new trial.
Antrell Felder pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday and was sentenced to just over 22 years in prison — about two decades shorter than the sentence he initially received after being convicted of murder in 2011, The Sumter Item r eported.
Felder, 38, agreed to the plea deal after a jury had been selected for a second murder trial.
Felder shot and killed 23-year-old William McKenzie in Sumter in July 2008 because he thought McKenzie was the burglar who broke into his home, prosecutors said,
Two witnesses said they saw Felder fire his gun and a hat and sunglasses with Felder’s DNA was found at the scene, authorities said.
The state Supreme Court overturned Felder’s original conviction last summer, saying Felder had an unfair trial because prosecutors reading a statement told the jury Felder was out on bond on a lynching charge, which under state law is the beating of someone by a group without any racial distinction.
Several members of McKenzie’s family spoke to the judge before sentencing. Stephanie Harry said the last 12 years have been hard without her older brother.
“We forgive him,” Harry said. “I just wish there was another way we could do this. None of us won.”