Beltzhoover man sentenced to 10-20 years for manslaughter
Trenton Knight said he would not have been in Jefferson Hills the night of May 16, 2015, had he known the woman he was sleeping with was Darius Williams’ live-in girlfriend.
But Williams came home that night and used a knife to force open the door of a bedroom where Knight was hiding. Knight fatally shot Williams, 40, and fled the scene in his underwear; he was arrested 12 days later by U.S. marshals and convicted of voluntary manslaughter in April.
“I was lied to and put in a situation where I had to protect myself. If I’d known it was his house, I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation,” Knight, 27, of Beltzhoover told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Flaherty and Williams’ family at his sentencing Tuesday. “To the family of Darius Williams, I’m sorry. This wasn’t my intention.”
Flaherty sentenced Knight to 10 to 20 years in prison, noting that the state’s “three-strike” law made 10 to 20 years the mandatory minimum sentence for Knight’s second strike. A 2009 robbery conviction was his first. Knight faces 25 years to life if he commits a third violent crime.
On a second conviction, for illegally possessing a firearm, Flaherty sentenced Knight to five to 10 years in prison but made it concurrent to the manslaughter sentence.
Williams’ aunts and mother were in court Tuesday to give victim-impact statements and ask Flaherty to make the sentences consecutive.
“There’s not a miracle that could happen to ease my pain,” said Williams’ mother, Betty Williams Tallon. “Darius went into his home and was murdered by an intruder.”
Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.