Lee's Summit man gets 20 years for Independence shooting death

The Examiner staff

A Lee’s Summit man received a 20-year prison sentence for a fatal July 2020 shooting in Independence. 

Arieous Walton-Merritt, 24, was sentenced Friday to 10 years for involuntary manslaughter and 10 years for armed criminal action in the shooting death of Matthew Bland-Williams. 

A Jackson County jury convicted Walton-Merritt in May, and a judge Friday ordered the sentences to run consecutively. 

According to court documents filed with the charges, Walton-Merritt shot Bland-Williams twice at point-bank range outside a home on an Independence cul-de-sac. The two men then scuffled and Bland-Williams managed to wrestle the gun away, then shot at Walton-Merritt’s car as he got into it. Police found Bland-Williams collapsed on a front porch and rendered aid, but he died at a hospital. 

Police found Walton-Merritt after he drove to the home of someone he knew several blocks away, collapsed and said he had been shot and asked to be taken to the hospital.