Court documents show Chance Thompson, who was charged with manslaughter in the January 2018 shooting death of 26-year-old Chad Gardner, took a plea deal on Wednesday, April 17, for a 20-year sentence.
According to Thompson's attorney, Timothy Case, a trial began for the manslaughter charge on April 8. Case says witnesses were called to the stand, and after some developments, they were able to settle the case with the District Attorney's Office for a plea agreement.
Thompson agreed to a 20-year split sentence. Case says this means he will be released after three years. According to Case, this was the minimum sentence by law, due to Thompson having three or more prior felonies.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 23 at 9 a.m.
Police said a fight over child custody is what led to the deadly shooting in the Shoals. In January of 2018, Sheffield police told WAAY 31 they believed Thompson and Gardner had a history of bad blood that began after Thompson started dating the mother of Gardner's child.
Police said Gardner died of injuries sustained in the shooting after he was transported to Helen Keller Hospital.