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Man gets 10 years for fatal stabbing of Des Moines resident

June 19, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man has been given 10 years in prison for using a stick or broom handle to kill a Des Moines resident.

Polk County District Court records say 41-year-old Michael Bell Jr. was sentenced Tuesday. He’d been convicted in May of voluntary manslaughter. He’d originally been charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 25, 2017, slaying of 42-year-old Jerry Martin.

Police say Bell told investigators he had several weapons with him when he confronted Martin over a $50 debt. Two witnesses told police they saw Bell use a weapon to hit and stab Martin several times, cutting Martin’s neck and puncturing his chest.

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