Stasa gets just over 5 years in local shooting

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By Brett Coplen and Shane Farley
March 13, 2017 - 8:23:12 pm

Josh Stasa of Winfield has been sentenced to just over five years in prison for a fatal shooting that occurred in Winfield in the spring of 2015.

On Monday afternoon, Cowley County Dist. Court Judge Nick St. Peter sentenced Stasa to 55 months on a count of involuntary manslaughter and 13 months for a count of aggravated battery. The sentences are to run consecutively.

The 28-year-old Stasa was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of David Towles and attempted first-degree murder for shooting and injuring Richard Lee Webster.

Mr. Webster eventually recovered from his injuries.

Charges against Stasa were reduced as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. The hastily-arranged agreement was made in December when the prosecution encountered witness issues just prior to the start of a trial, court officials said.

Stasa, who appeared with his attorney, Mike Brown, can appeal his sentence.

He entered an Alford Plea, which means he maintained his innocence while acknowledging the state possessed adequate evidence to prove his guilt. Stasa had a prior criminal conviction and a history of heavy meth usage, according to information discussed in court Monday.

Prior to sentencing, Stasa told Judge St. Peter he had been praying while incarcerated and intended to be a better person. His supporters have taken issue with what they described as one-sided news coverage of the shooting.

Those who have attended court proceedings in support of Towles and Webster have expressed disappointment with the reduced charges and what they consider a light sentence.

Stasa will be required to complete two years of post-release supervision. He will get credit for 676 days he has already served in the county jail. He could also receive a 15-percent reduction for good behavior.

Stasa is accused of entering a home in the 600 block of E. Third Ave. and shooting Towles and Webster. He then fled the scene and was arrested during the course of an investigation.

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