An Arizona father who beat a man to death in a convenience store parking lot after he tried to break into 16-year-old his daughter’s bathroom stall has been jailed for eight years.
Melvin Harris III, 40, was arrested in August 2018 after beating Leon Leevon Armstrong, 27, to death in the parking lot of a convenience store in Phoenix, Arizona.
Harris was waiting in his car for his daughter and her friends when she emerged from the store, claiming Armstrong had tried forcefully to get into the bathroom stall she was in.
Armstrong had coincidentally asked Harris for money before he went into the store.
Security guards were alerted and police were called but Harris beat Armstrong to death in the parking lot.
The man died in the hospital from brain swelling, a nasal fracture and loss of oxygen.
Witnesses said they watched Harris repeatedly kick and stomp on the man.
Harris was originally charged with with second-degree murder but he accepted a plea deal which saw the charge reduced to manslaughter.
As they were inside the store, Armstrong – who had a lengthy criminal history – approached Harris in his vehicle, asking for money.
He then went into the store and into the bathroom where Harris’ daughter claimed he ‘rattled’ the door of the bathroom stall she was in, trying to get in.
She alerted security and then went back to her father’s car and told him what happened.
As they prepared to leave, Armstrong emerged from the store and the girl pointed him out.
Harris then got out of his vehicle. He told police Armstrong threw the first punch.
After his arrest, Harris’ fiancee spoke out in his defense. She said he was merely protecting his daughter.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jennifer Smith