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Father Accused Of Killing Man Who Tried To Enter Teen Daughter’s Restroom Stall Gets Sentenced To 8-Years

Melvin Harris, 41, was sentenced to eight years in prison after authorities say he fatally beat a man who allegedly tried to follow his teenage daughter into a restroom stall at a convenience store. 

Harris accepted a plea deal of manslaughter after initially facing a second-degree murder charge for the encounter that took place in 2018.

According to The Arizona Republic, the incident occurred when Harris arrived at a QuikTrip convenience store in Phoenix, Arizona to pick up his daughter and two of her friends. 

When his daughter came out of the store she told him that a man, later identified as Leon Armstrong, had tried to enter her stall inside the store’s restroom.

Harris then asked a store security guard to handle the situation or he would handle it himself, court records said.

Harris told police that Armstrong took a swing at him, so he reacted by punching, kicking and stomping on Armstrong, who died several days later from a severe brain injury. 

Harris had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge last month, according to the Republic.

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11 comments

Jerome McMillan December 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

This seems to be an excessive sentence to say the least.

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Karen Evans December 16, 2019 at 6:57 pm

The security guard should have done his job. Mr. Harris had a right to stand in for his teenage daughter. He didn’t deserve a prison sentence.

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Frank Ruiz December 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

I agree, especially because the guy attempted to assault him first. Sounds like self defense to me. Even so 8 years is a little excessive, there’s guys that do 8 years on murder. I guess he got the max for manslaughter.

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randall-L December 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm

I agree. But it reaches a point where it moves beyond self defense, and becomes assault. When the person is subdued and is no longer a threat, but you continue “defending yourself”, that’s when it shifts to assault. But I understand the fathers rage and have no sympathy for the decedent.

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Melissa January 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm

I agree that the man had a right to defend his daughter, like you said, once subdued, he should’ve taken his daughter and called the police. The man deserved prison, not death. And the only reason I can stand by this, is personal experience with people. I grew up with a dysfunctional, broken family across the street. The father and older son stayed in Chicago, drug addicts. The mother lived in our small town with 3 boys and a girl. Single mother. I always saw the county behavioral health car at their house. The 16 year old ended up joining a gang, and killed by an opposing gang. His brother at 14, went to juvie 2 years for armed robbery. After getting out at 16, went back for raping a girl. He was still just a kid. My point is. It is on our society to teach out to broken dysfunctional families, help them to prevent things like this. Take in the struggling mother and broken children. Then they wont grow up like that guy did. People arent born bad. Just need a lot of love and gentle guidance. A lot dont get that. So I thought a lot about rape. Since he was only 16. And the only thing I can think of. Is the person must be filled with rage, anger, hurt. Mixed with testosterone and hormones, not a good combination
You address the rage and anger, the behavior will change. No one is born with a desire to harm others. That comes from a dysfunctional upbringing. And they had another brother. god, he was 3, on a tricycle on the sidewalk, and I wondered to myself what is to become of him. I was just a kid when all this happened. It wasn’t till years later, hindsight 20 20 I realized that people in our town should’ve taken this family in and not turn a blind eye. We dont live in societies like that anymore.

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I am who I am December 18, 2019 at 12:33 am

8 years! I am disappointed with the justice system.

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Keith December 21, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Interesting we r still being hindered from defending our women and family as black men. However a white man or woman can lie do whatever 2 a minority person and it b kool… this justice system needs 2 change

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Michael Fox December 21, 2019 at 7:25 pm

I was not there, and don’t know the facts. Of coarse we understand the fathers rage and protecting i his daughter.
But the father initially told the store clerk to handel the situation in other words call the police. . Which tells me that the man was likely a homeless old drunk man not a really threat. If the man were a really danger he would have ran away. If the man were intent and capable on harming the teenage girl he proberly Could have kicked the stall open put his hands over her mouth. . If he were a drunk old homeless belligerent man disorientated did know what he was doing. Did the store clerk call the police??? Did the teenager run out the bath room screaming with her pants pulled down. They would have told us attempted rap if that’s what transpired. If the man was given eight years in a plea deal and was advised by his lawery to except it, that ment that he didn’t want to go to trial where the prosecution believed that they had enough evidence to convince a jury to give him 25 years on a first degree murder charge. The prosecution took into account the trauma of a parent believing that his child was in danger. I am not pro prosecution. But if this really was a father who killed a man who just attempted to harm or sexually assault his child this story would have been caused major protest aleast locally. If this was in the end an old belligerent disorientated drunk senior citizen who hangs out drinking in the parking lot of the quick trip convience store and frequently uses the bathroom there, and not a rapist intent on raping and murdering the girl which might very well be the case that is how ciome you have the father likely being advised to not go before a jury and risk a sentence of 25 years for first degree murder.

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David David December 23, 2019 at 8:19 pm

The father should not have accepted a plea deal of manslaughter. He should have took his chances and let this go to trial to tell his side of the story. He had a right to defend this daughter. The courts are not always fair to black folks but neither is this plea deal. EIGHT YEARS is definitely excessive.

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Mel December 29, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Typical BS!!! So now a man has no right to defend his daughter. This court system in this case is straight BS as well. My daughter, same same.

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