- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield man has been sentenced to seven years in prison in a December 2013 stabbing death.

The Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/1beSjjU ) reports that 29-year-old Michael M. Speed was originally charged with murder and armed criminal action in the death of Christopher Williams. But prosecutors agreed to a plea deal with Speed after a key witness couldn’t be found. Earlier this month, Speed entered an Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing the crime but acknowledges the prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction.

Prosecuting attorney Todd Myers said police and U.S. Marshals were unable to find the missing witness. Speed had told police he was defending himself.

Williams had brothers who were fatally shot in Arkansas in 2006 and 2010.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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