Hutchinson murder suspect pleads guilty to lesser charge

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The 19-year-old Hutchinson man accused in a fatal shooting in June has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Leo Wells was charged with intentional second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Kenneth Thompson. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter. 

The shooting happened in the early-morning hours of June 24 in the 100 block of South Elm. Officers found Thompson lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. He later died at a local hospital.

Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder told the Hutch Post that the two men apparently got into an argument during party or gathering, and Wells decided to leave.

Thompson apparently followed him, taunting him with what some called playful banter. Once Wells got his vehicle, he pulled a gun and shot Thompson.

Schroeder said while Thompson was on the ground, Wells fired more rounds at the victim. 

Wells remains jailed on $350,000 and will be sentenced on February 9. A voluntary manslaughter conviction carries a maximum sentence 247 months in prison.

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