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LR man found guilty of killing teen

By David Harten , Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 30, 2013 at 11:28 a.m. Updated January 30, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.


FILE - Police walk Michael David Sadler, Sr., (second from right) to a waiting patrol car after charging him with one count on 1st degree murder on May 3, 2012.

Johnson discusses Sadler verdict

Sixth Judicial District Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Johnson discusses the verdict in the case against Michael David Sadler, who was found guilty Wednesday of killing 14-year-old Michael Stanley on May 3 after running him over with his car and then beating him after Stanley stole his wallet. (By David Harten)
[View Full-Size]

Michael David Sadler leaves the Little Rock courthouse Wednesday afternoon after he was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 14-year-old ...

— A Little Rock man accused of fatally running over and beating a teenage boy after the youth stole his wallet outside a Little Rock convenience store was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday afternoon.

The jury's decision took less than an hour.

Michael Sadler was arrested May 3 on a first-degree murder charge after the incident near Asher Avenue and South Maple Street that left 14-year-old Michael Stanley Jr. dead.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sean Strode described in his opening statement how Sadler chased down the teen with a van, ultimately hitting the boy's bicycle before getting out and beating him until a code enforcement officer intervened. He acknowledged that the jury of eight women and four men would hear how the chase began after Stanley took Sadler's wallet.

"No amount of theft can justify the violence of homicide that occurred," Strode said, noting a medical examiner would testify the assault burst Stanley's liver and sent one his ribs into one of his lungs. "... Michael Sadler put a value on this boy's life, and he took the law into his hands."

Strode said there was "no excuse" for Stanley's move to take the wallet, which had nearly $1,300 in it, after Sadler showed it to him and asked for the boy's help in locating a missing gun.

But, he said, it shouldn't have touched off a deadly attack or "vigilante justice."

"We live in a society of laws, and nobody lives above the law," Strode said. "Certainly not the defendant, but on that day he decided he did."

Defense attorney David Cannon countered in his brief opening statement that the jury should find Sadler guilty, but of manslaughter rather than first-degree murder.

He took issue with Strode's contention that Sadler put a price on Stanley's life.

"He didn't," Cannon said. "Michael Stanley put a price on Michael Stanley's life. He was 14 years old and out committing a robbery. But we're not saying the ends justify the means. My client is guilty of something."

The code enforcement officer who intervened also testified Wednesday, the first day of the trial before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright. The officer, Paris Wilhelm, said he was in the area with a co-worker when he spotted an agitated Sadler, believing initially that he was dumping trash in the area.

When he got closer, Wilhelm realized Sadler was beating an injured boy and yelling "where's my money," he testified.

Wilhelm said he yelled for Sadler to stop, which he did.

"I was just trying to break up the violence," Wilhelm said, describing how he checked for a pulse and then waited with Stanley until medical crews arrived. "... I just talked to him and held his hand."

Stanley died of his injuries at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Sadler will be eligible for parole in 2019.

Read more on this story in Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


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ToTheLeft says... January 30, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.

Unfortunate, but people should not steal. The theft is what started this chain of events. Did he deserve to die? No, but it's his own fault. Think, people, before you steal. It could be the last thing you do.

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TheBatt says... January 30, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.

While I cannot condone chasing down and running over, then beating someone for stealing a wallet- I just don't see 1st degree murder charges.

Had this been a case of an armed citizen who pulled out a handgun and shooting the thief, this wouldn't get the same attention.

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NONSHEEPLE says... January 30, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.

Punk got what he deserved. I don't care if he was 12. If he wanted to act like an adult then take what comes next. It's unfortunate that he died but in the end it kep t him from robbing or possible harming someone else later. Crime Stoppers should be paying this guys legal fees...

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HOTDEMN says... January 30, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.

Let's can propel a chunk of molten metal at supersonic speed through another humans skull but you can't kick them with your foot. The way i figure it is the state got off cheap. Prosecute Sadler in a slam dunk case now as opposed to all the money they would have spent in the future on Stanleys' blossoming career as a thug. That punk was going to end badly sooner or later anyway and this way he's only taking one other person down with him.

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Debbiel says... January 30, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.

It is sad that this person died,but there is to much of the stealing,robbing of businesses and people.When will these thieves ever learn robbibg someone can be deadly.Get a job and a life...Work is not that hard

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LevyRat says... January 30, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.

Moral of this story: Don't try to steal another thug's money when you get-a-way vehicle is a bicycle.

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LR1955 says... January 30, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. can propel a chunk of molten metal....what kind of weapon does this ?

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Sterls says... January 30, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.

All of these comments are so callous and show no sympathy for the young man whatsoever. I couldn't agree more.

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NutButter says... January 30, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

Crime does not pay.
The kid (criminal) did not deserve to die, but I do not think the defendant intended to kill him, but I think the anger of being robbed affected his behavior. It would have affected my level of anger also.

Things have to change. Law abiding citizens are tired of being robbed or burglarized. "We are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."

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