MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Fort Payne man charged with murder in connection to a shooting at a Guntersville bar has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, court documents show.
In 2021, Wesley Abernathy, 30, was charged with murder after a ‘bar fight’ led to a shooting, according to Guntersville Police Department (GPD).
During a hearing on Monday, Abernathy pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 180 months in prison with credit for time served.
However, Abernathy’s sentence was split to serve 30 months in the Alabama Department of Corrections, followed by 48 months of probation, according to court documents.
Joseph Duane Alita, 28 at the time, of Albertville, was killed after GPD said Abernathy and Alita got into an argument at Stillwater Bar & Grill. The arguing reportedly continued to Bubba Ritos and escalated to a fight in the parking lot. Alita was shot multiple times in the parking lot, police said.
Abernathy was booked into the Marshall County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He was indicted for murder on April 30, 2021, and pleaded not guilty to the charge that September.
Abernathy was released from jail on June 10, 2022, and was originally set to go on trial in February of 2023, but court documents show the trial was continued and set for October 23 with a pretrial hearing on Monday, where he ended up taking the plea deal.