Father who killed man accused of trying to enter daughter’s bathroom stall sentenced to 8 years

PHOENIX (WGHP) — A father in Phoenix was sentenced to 8 years in prison Friday after he beat a stranger in 2018 who allegedly tried to get into a bathroom stall his daughter was using, KSAZ reports. The beaten man later died of his injuries.

Melvin Harris III had driven to the QuikTrip gas station at 19th and Dunlap Avenues in Phoenix to pick up his daughter and her friends, according to police. Harris, 41, said Leon Armstrong approached him in the parking lot and asked for money.

After Harris gave him money, Armstrong went into the convenience store where Harris’ daughter and her friends were, according to KPNX.

Harris said when his daughter and her friends left the store, his daughter told him that Armstrong had tried to enter the bathroom stall she was using.

Harris walked into the convenience store and “told a security guard he needed to take care of the situation, or (Harris) would do it himself,” according to court documents obtained by KPNX.

He then punched Leon Armstrong in the face, kicked and stomped him, according to court documents.

Harris told police that Armstrong swung at him first and then fell down on his own, and claimed he didn’t touch Armstrong after he was on the ground.

Armstrong died days later from a severe brain injury.

Harris is reportedly taking a plea deal to a manslaughter charge. He was originally charged in 2018 with second-degree murder.

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