DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 shooting death of another man inside a Des Moines home.
The Des Moines Register reports that the sentence imposed Friday was the only one possible after 49-year-old Stanley Wofford was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the September 2019 death of 45-year-old John Belcher Jr.
Wofford was charged in the case nearly three weeks after the shooting, and police testified that it was Wofford who called 911 about half an hour after the shooting and claimed to have found Belcher’s body. Police said the evidence showed it was Wofford who did the shooting.
Belcher’s fiancee, Olivia Constantine, recalled in a statement that was read by court staff the difficulty of explaining the death to the couple’s daughter, Makenna, who was only 2 years old at the time.
“Most days … I’m sad, thinking about what life would be like if John were here, or I don’t feel anything at all,” she said.
Wofford, when offered the chance to speak, told the judge the killing was justified.
“It wasn’t first-degree murder,” he said. “I wouldn’t kill anyone for no reason. The man threatened my life.”