published Thursday, September 26th, 2013

2 Tenn. men sentenced in shootings

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. - Two Tennessee men charged in a double shooting at a southern Kentucky gas station that resulted in one death and one injury have been sentenced.

The Kentucky New Era reports Hersey Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, received a five-year sentence and Louis Spencer, who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, was sentenced to 30 months.

Originally, Mitchell was charged with murder and Spencer was charged with first-degree assault.

Prosecutor Lynn Pryor said at the time of the pleas last month that she wasn't happy with the amended charges but didn't want to risk a possible acquittal based on a lack of evidence.

An attorney for Mitchell and Spencer said they shot the other men in self-defense.

After the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins conditionally suspended the sentences and remanded them to authorities in Tennessee, where both are facing unrelated charges.

Before the sentence was handed down, the mother of the victim, Shannon Motley, questioned why the defendants weren't charged with other lesser crimes and said they deserved longer sentences.

"How could the court ignore a harsher sentence for the defendants' role in

the death of my child?" she asked. "This is not right.

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