IMAGE: Walter Roosevelt-Taft Downing

Walter Roosevelt-Taft Downing pleaded no contest to manslaughter and guilty to habitual offender - fourth offense.

A Highland Park man was sentenced to prison for a fatal stabbing in Clare County in 2017.

Walter Roosevelt-Taft Downing was sentenced to 19 to 40 years in prison for the death of James Edwards.

It happened on July 15, 2017.

An argument between the two men earlier that morning resulted in Downing stabbing Edwards twice, Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Williams Ambrozaitis said.

Edwards fled the scene in a vehicle and crashed into the neighbor's garage in a bid to obtain emergency medical assistance, Ambrozaitis said.

He died in the ambulance shortly after. Prosecutors said Edwards died as a result of the injuries from the stabbing.

On Jan. 4, 2019, Downing entered a no contest plea to manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to habitual offender - fourth offense.

Downing was sentenced on Feb. 4, 2019. He did not receive any credit for time served pending his sentencing because he was a parole absconder at the time he committed the crime, Ambrozaitis said.

He was also ordered to pay $17,044.71 in restitution, $68 in state costs and $130 for crime victim rights fee.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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