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Father says family wants teen's killer to face death penalty

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 4, 2012 at 9:33 a.m. Updated May 4, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.


A small memorial stands for Michael Stanley Jr. in the grassy lot where he was struck by a van and beaten after a chase.

Van chase surveillance

Surveillance video from the Asher 1-Stop shows part of a chase that ended with a 14-year-old being run over by a van. The van is visible beginning to pursue the teenage cyclist in the beginning of the footage in the right-hand side of the frame. Later in the video, the chase continues across the screen from right to left.
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Father wants death penalty for man accused of killing teen

Michael Stanley Sr. speaks about his son's killing and the case against the man arrested in the inci...

Man who struck child charged with murder

Michael Sadler, 58, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 14-year-old boy after the...

Police walk Michael David Sadler, Sr., to a waiting patrol car after charging him with one count on 1st degree murder.

Police investigate teen's death after chase

A 14-year-old died after being struck by a vehicle that was chasing him Thursday in Little Rock.

— The father of a 14-year-old who died after being run over and beaten Thursday in Little Rock says he wants the man charged with the crime to face the death penalty.

Speaking Friday on the steps of his Little Rock home, Michael Stanley Sr. said the man accused in the killing, 58-year-old Michael Sadler, deserves capital punishment.

Sadler was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities say he acknowledged post-arrest that he chased down 14-year-old Michael Stanley Jr., running him over with the van and then getting out and beating him because the teen took his wallet.

"He deserves to pay with his life," Stanley Sr. said when asked what he wanted to say to Sadler. "You did what you did ... We can't talk to our son, do nothing with him no more. They've got flowers, crosses up over there for our son. His momma needs to go through the same thing we're going through. He put that burden on us, his momma deserves that burden on her."

The elder Stanley said he takes issue with the version of events presented by police. He said it appears in surveillance video captured by a nearby gas station [VIDEO] that the van stopped and initiated contact with the teen and another bicyclist before giving chase.

Stanley Sr. said it appeared to him that some "transaction" was occurring. He said he didn't know if it involved drugs or anything else.

"Really we don't know what all happened," Michael Stanley Sr. said. "We don't know what they were talking about or what kind of transaction that was."

Earlier Thursday, Sadler was ordered held in lieu of a $1 million bond after appearing by video in Little Rock District Court. An innocent plea was also entered during the brief hearing.

Sadler, wearing a blue jail uniform and standing with his hands clasped in front of him, spoke only briefly - inaudibly replying when District Judge Alice Lightle asked him if an attorney representing him in previous cases would represent him in the murder case.

Police have said Michael Stanley Jr. snatched Sadler's wallet outside the Asher 1-Stop at Asher Avenue and South Maple Street.

The teen jumped on a bicycle and was pedaling away from the scene when Sadler got in his Chrysler van and pursued him, police said.

Sadler is accused of driving after the teen as he rode into a nearby grassy lot. There, the van struck the teen and Sadler then got out and beat him, authorities said.

Prosecutors said during the hearing Friday that Sadler admitted to detectives that he chased the boy, ran over him and then punched and kicked him as he lay injured on the ground.

Michael Stanley Jr. was pronounced dead at Arkansas Children's Hospital.


Comments on: Father says family wants teen's killer to face death penalty

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Hoytusa03260747 says... May 4, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.


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minkster says... May 4, 2012 at 12:49 p.m.

It is sad for the young man and the man who ran over the teen...I hate to see violence in the humpteenth degree...May God continue to bless each family..

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TheBatt says... May 4, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.

$1 million bond is insane. This fellow doesn't have the resources to run away. Further - the "1st Degree Murder" charge is nothing more than an overzealous prosecutor.

There is no justification for Sadler killing this 14 year old thief. On the other hand, it was a reaction to being a crime victim where there was little chance of the police/justice system actually doing anything about it.

In that neighborhood - the 15 minutes or more it would have taken for police to arrive would have been more than enough for the case to go completely unsolved. How many of you would experience no problems from having every penny you have stolen and never recovered?

What started as a crime by the teen (how come his name hasn't been released?), turned into a pursuit by his victim to get his wallet back. What is not clear - was the intent to actually run over the teen, or was his purpose actually to catch him and get his wallet back? Minivan vs. bicycle is generally a no-win situation for the bicycle rider.

In the end - what lesson should be learned from this? That bad decisions have consequences. For some, the result may be nearly immediate (as in this case). In other cases, the consequences may take years. But there IS a price, a consequence to bad decisions.

What lesson will law enforcement and the Prosecuting attorney's office try to teach with this (with the help of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, apparently)? A 14 year old who victimizes you doesn't deserve consequences. So don't go after someone who has committed a crime against you - just let them go and forget about it. Any action you take may put you in prison for the rest of your life.

And by the way - I sure would like to know why this "student" of one of LR's "wonderful" thug/juvenile delinquent "alternative schools" wasn't IN CLASS at the time! Further - where's the parents? They have some responsibility in this case as well.

Of course, they instead will probably file a lawsuit and score big bucks.

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HarleyOwner says... May 4, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.

@ The Batt, you pretty well covered all the points. I agree with you. Thank goodness it was a black on black crime. Since they guy lived at 1800 Broadway, that was probably pretty much all the money he had to live on for the month which is why the guy reacted like he did. A jury may see it differently from the way the prosecutor did.

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amberjack says... May 4, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.

I hope the rest of the little ghetto thugs running the streets will learn from this, but I am sure they won't. This little punk just messed with the wrong guy and got what he deserved

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RBBrittain says... May 4, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.

For once, TheBatt is right. Though it was definitely a crime for the guy to chase down & kill the kid, I don't think the death was intentional; it really should be manslaughter. Why make his charge only one rung down the ladder from the obvious capital-murder charge (i.e., committed during a robbery) if the kid had killed HIM???

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RaylanGivens says... May 4, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.

I think the fact he drove up over the curb into a grassy area where he hit him will hurt his case; sounded like a lot of rage on his part

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jetjohn says... May 4, 2012 at 2:56 p.m.

That whole area lives off the "gubment." They depend on those checks coming in for their booze and drugs. They teach this to their children. I agree with TheBatt wholeheartedly! Why was this kid NOT in school!!! Guess he was getting his degree in "stealing other peoples money!!"

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Poorboy says... May 4, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.

I must agree with TheBatt this time.

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bigjohnsmith says... May 4, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.

the father should have raised his boy not to be a thief he just picked on the one person who did not have the rational to control himself but no death penility apparently the parents of the boy did not do much talking to him anyway

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