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Man convicted of manslaughter in fatal Des Moines stabbing

May 7, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A June sentencing has been scheduled for a man accused of using a stick or a broom handle to kill a Des Moines resident.

Polk County District Court records say 41-year-old Michael Bell Jr. was convicted last week 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.

Bell’s sentencing is set for June 18.