Crime & Courts

‘Get off my turf,’ Wichita man said before he was killed. Shooter gets 24 years

The shooter who pleaded guilty to killing a Wichita man after he told the shooter’s father to “get off my turf” has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Jimmy Duane Suttle, 33, of Wichita, was sentenced Tuesday to 165 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release. With the conviction, Suttle violated his probation in other cases, and their underlying sentences combined with the manslaughter sentence for 288 months in state prison.

Suttle’s conviction stems from the May 14, 2017, shooting of Leonard Childers, 52, of Wichita, outside a home in the 1600 block of South Fern. Childers was taken to a hospital with injuries to his kidneys, spleen, stomach and lungs and died eight days later.

Suttle had told police after the shooting that Childers threatened him after beating up his father and that he shot him in self-defense, according to court documents.

A Wichita police detective detailed the allegations against Suttle in an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court.

Suttle and his dad, Jimmy Dean Suttle, had been drinking alcohol that Sunday evening while waiting for another man to come with a pickup and trailer to tow a car, witnesses told police, according to the affidavit. At some point, the father walked away and into Childers’ yard.

Childers then yelled at the elder Suttle to “get off my turf.” The elder Suttle, a white man, replied with a racial slur and expletive. Childers, a black man, then punched him in the stomach and hit him in the face, telling him that he was a “knockout king and this was his turf,” according to the affidavit.

The younger Suttle saw his dad on the ground and told Childers that, “if you hit my dad, I will kill you,” witnesses told police. Childers threatened the son that he would “kick his (expletive) too.” Suttle then took a .22 caliber revolver from the holster of a family member, overpowering the man to gain control of the gun.

Suttle told police that he feared for his life and fired one warning shot into the air. Childers, who was on the opposite side of the street, then rushed Suttle, who shot one more time, and a bullet hit him in the abdomen. He told investigators that he fired the weapon in self-defense.

Suttle was charged with second-degree murder in Childers’ death, but that was amended to voluntary manslaughter before the plea agreement. As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped additional charges of robbery, criminal threat and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon connected to him taking the gun from the family member.

The crime violated Suttle’s probation in a 2013 forgery case, 2015 meth possession case and 2015 aggravated battery case, Bennett said.

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