For Immediate Release
July 30, 2021
A Lee's Summit man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Matthew Bland-Williams in 2020 outside an Independence, MO, residence, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
A Jackson County judge sentenced Arieous K. Walton-Merritt, dob: 8/27/1996, to 10 years in prison for his Involuntary Manslaughter conviction and 10 years for his conviction of an Armed Criminal Action. A Jackson County jury in early May convicted the defendant of both counts. The judge on Friday set the 10-year sentences to run consecutively.
According to court records filed today, Independence police were dispatched Thursday to the 18800 block of E. Wigwam Place in Independence on a shooting. Officers found the victim in the front of the residence. He was later pronounced dead at Centerpoint Medical Center. Police soon identified a second scene after the defendant collapsed in front of another Independence residence due to gun shots wounds. He was transported to North Kansas City Hospital. Surveillance video from a neighbor of the Wigwam scene showed the defendant firing two shots at the victim before a struggle began. The victim gets the gun away and fires shots at the defendant as he starts to drive away.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Michael Hunt prosecuted the case on behalf of the state of Missouri.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954