Man sentenced to 13 to 25 months after Benson argument leads to fatal shooting

Michael Trism Felix Willis (Robert Richardson/CBS North Carolina)

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wilson County was sentenced to 13 to 25 months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the June shooting death of his friend. His attorney said he was high at the time and regrets the killing.

Michael Trism Fenix Willis, of Lucama, 22, fired a shot into the chest of Jason Audus Rivera during an argument, the prosecution said.

Police described the weapon as a “small caliber firearm.” The bullet struck Rivera’s aorta and liver.

Rivera, 40, of Smithfield, was able to walk out of the apartment where the shooting occurred and into the 900 block of Barefoot Street, where he collapsed, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

EARLIER: Fight led to fatal Johnston County shooting Sunday evening, police say

Willis didn’t mean to fire the fatal shot and is genuinely remorseful, his attorney said.

Willis pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, possession of methamphetamine and possess/sell/buy alter a gun’s serial number. He faced a maximum of 10 years and two months in prison.

He had at first been charged with murder.

In addition to imprisonment, he must undergo substance abuse and anger management treatment.

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