DETROIT (WJBK) - A man charged as an accessory in the robbery and murder of an O'Reilly Auto Parts store worker was sentenced Wednesday to probation.
Leviticus Butler pleaded guilty to one count of accessory after the fact to a felony and was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months of probation.
Police say on Nov. 1, 2017, two women entered the O'Reilly Auto Parts Store in the 16800 block of Schaefer in Detroit. Handgun pointed at employees, 23-year-old Shawnta Anderson demanded money from the cash register. According to officials, she was accompanied by 28-year-old Eboni Mcewen-Ross.
Police say that's when 69-year-old manager James Haller came from the back of the store to investigate the commotion. Anderson is accused of firing a single shot, striking Haller in the head. She then fled the scene in an SUV as Haller was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
The alleged shooter was caught in the 6000 block of Colfax and Mcewen-Ross turned herself in two weeks later.
Anderson was charged with one count of felony murder, a felony carrying a penalty of life in prison without parole, two counts of armed robbery, and three counts of felony firearm.
Before the sentencing, Haller's wife had a moment to address the court.
"I don't want probation or community service. He should go to prison because what he did, he shouldn't have done. He's old enough to know the difference between right and wrong and good and bad. You don't harbor criminals. You call 911 and have the police come get them."
The judge said while he understood her feelings.
"I'm sorry about what happened. Any loss of life is wrongful and a tragedy to our community as a whole. The facts and the situation is we can't put everyone in prison at $38,000 a year."
He said that even as she came into 36th District Court today, she could see just across the street on Gratiot the unfinished jail site. He says there is a limited amount of space and the judges are limited in what they can do.
Family says Haller was General Motors retiree, and a Marine who served two tours in Vietnam.