• Dennis McCaslin

Manslaughter conviction in 2020 Allied Garden Estate shooting death nets man five year prison stay

A Fort Smith man who man was charged in connection with a fatal shooting in August of 2020 at the Allied Garden Estates in Fort Smith was handed a five year sentence for Manslaughter Wednesday morning in Sebastian County Circuit Court.

Lionel J. Larrinaga, 35, was implicated in the murder of 18-year-old Averill James Jr/ and charged with one count of reckless manslaughter and one count of committing a felony with a firearm on April 1 of this year after an investigation that lasted almost nine months. James Jr., 18, died at an area hospital from a gunshot wound. According to court documents, a witness told police a man called "Six" Larrinaga ran from the crime scene immediately after the gunshots were heard at the Johnson Street complex.

James and Larrinaga had been seen "arguing and fighting" on the day of the shooting, according to one witness. Another witness told police said Larrinaga had confided he played a part in James' death.

An autopsy by the state Crime Laboratory found James died from a 38-caliber revolver shot gunshot. A similar gun was linked to Larrinaga after a drug-related arrest in September of last year.

.Larrinaga drew the five years with five years suspended after prosecutors dropped the firearm enhancement charges. According to court records, the family of the victim approved of the disposition of the charges.

In addition to the imposed prison sentence, Larrinaga was given credit for time served and was ordered to have no contact with the victim's family in the future.

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