Man sentenced to prison for shooting near Bangor

Thurman Fletcher
A Feb. 5, 2017 mug shot of Thurman Fletcher. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — A Bangor man who shot and killed a 28-year-old man near Bangor earlier this year has been sentenced to prison time.

Thurman Fletcher, 20, was sentenced to 86 months to 15 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea deal that dismissed an open murder charge. Fletcher also pleaded guilty to a felony firearms charge with a sentence of two years.

He must complete the two-year sentence for the felony firearm charge before starting the sentence for the manslaughter charge.

Fletcher got the 9 mm handgun used in the incident from Nikolas Abbott, the son of the Van Buren County sheriff.

Police reports show Fletcher passed the gun off following the shooting, and Abbott picked it up at a Bangor home later that night. One witness said Abbott sold the gun for $100 to get rid of it.

Originally, Fletcher told police he accidentally shot himself while squirrel hunting. Later, Fletcher claimed he had been in a fight with the victim and was shot in the foot, at which point he got the gun back and shot him in self-defense.

Police reports show the incident was drug-related, and that Abbott gave Holland the gun because he was going to get some of the drugs as part of the deal.