MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Just over eight years to the day, a 26-year-old man who was initially charged with manslaughter in the 2014 beating death of Mark Scott Pridmore, is up for parole soon, according to the Alabama Bureau of Pardons & Paroles (ABPP).
Berha Xavier Starling was 18 years old on September 4, 2014, when Huntsville Police at the time said that he and Pridmore were involved in a physical altercation sometime that day. The incident, which was allegedly not reported to police, happened at a convenience store at 4302 University Drive.
According to HPD, Pridmore received an injury that would make him seek medical treatment later at Huntsville Hospital. The 40-year-old would die from the injury two days later on September 6.
Police would later reveal that Pridmore died due to head injuries.
Starling was developed as a suspect through the investigation conducted by the Huntsville Police Major Crimes Unit, Crime Scene Investigations and Gang Unit.
Police would find Starling in the area of Myrtlewood Drive, where he was arrested and charged with manslaughter on September 9, 2014.
Starling requested to be tried as a youthful offender but ultimately pleaded guilty in his trial on November 2, 2015, but as part of an agreement, the plea was for the lesser charge of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.
Starling was sentenced to 20 years in prison. As of his parole hearing, he will have served seven years, seven months and 34 days of that sentence.
The death of Pridmore, who was believed to be homeless at the time, also sparked a movement among those in the homeless community to report crimes to authorities, rather than staying quiet.
Local organizations at the time said the homeless were “uneasy” when it came to reaching out to law enforcement or medical professionals.
Pridmore’s family was also left puzzled following the charges in connection to his death, who pleaded to the City for changes in the treatment of homeless individuals across Huntsville.
The ABPP is expected to make its decision on Starling’s parole at a hearing on September 13.