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Lake County man sentenced to 18 years for crossbow murder

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EUREKA- The 21-year-old Lake County man accused of killing a man and injuring another with a crossbow in the Samoa dunes last September will serve 18 years in prison. 

In court, King plead guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing 44 year-old James John James with a crossbow. King also plead guilty to attempted murder of the second degree for injuring Matthew Lewis with that weapon. King received the maximum sentences for the charges with time added to his sentences for special allegations of using a deadly weapon and causing major bodily harm. 

According to police, on September 8, 2013 King and his alleged 16 year-old accomplice shot and killed James and injured Lewis over a dispute about stolen items from a campsite. In preliminary court hearings on December 3, Lewis told the court that after he was shot once in the head, King yelled out loud and told the 16 year-old girl to shoot him. Lewis said that the arrow grazed his shin and then Lewis threw his knife at the two suspects before being shot again by King just below his kidney.

Also at the preliminary hearing on December 3, King had pled not guilty to the charges citing self-defense. According to what the two had told detectives, James threatened to kill them both and rape the 16 year-old, which is when King shot the fatal arrow.

But on Thursday, the court ruled there was not enough evidence for King to stand trial on self-defense, at which point King pled guilty to all counts.

King will serve 18 years and four months in prison.