Man sentenced for uncle's violent death in watermelon field

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2016 7:51 AM

MARDELA SPRINGS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man has been sentenced to a decade behind bars for bludgeoning his uncle to death during an argument in a watermelon patch last summer.

William Harcum III was sentenced Friday to the maximum 10-year sentence after having been convicted in March of voluntary manslaughter and first- and second-degree assault in connection with the July death of 62-year-old Lee Harcum in Wicomico County.

William Harcum was initially facing first- and second-degree murder charges, but the jury found that he acted in "imperfect self-defense" because the elder Harcum had earlier hit him in the head with a watermelon while they were picking the patch.

William Harcum responded by fatally beating his uncle with a tractor pin. He said in court that he never intended to kill his uncle.