For Killing Homeless Man, Pentagon Guard Gets 1-Year Sentence FWD

Tom Boland (
Sat, 1 Aug 1998 17:39:16 -0700 (PDT)
FWD  July 24, 1998


     By Dale Hopper,  Associated Press Writer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A Pentagon security guard was sentenced Friday to
one year in prison for killing a homeless man in a shooting he said was

John Edward Bell was alone in his Pentagon guard shack March 7 when he
fired his .38-caliber handgun and hit Kenneth Grant, 38, who was walking
along a nearby street.

Bell, 34, pleaded guilty May 1 to involuntary manslaughter and faced from
10 months to six years in prison. He was holding the gun with two hands and
pointing it at the window when it went off, according to a statement of
fact prepared by prosecutors.

``I accept full responsibility for what happened,'' Bell said. ``I never
intended to hurt anyone. It was truly an accident.''

Bell apologized to several members of Grant's family who attended the
sentencing by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Grant's brother, Carl Grant, said the sentence was too short.

``We believe it happened intentionally,'' Grant said. The family plans to
sue Bell and his former employer, Elite Protective Services in Wheaton,
Md., he said.

Hilton also sentenced Bell to three years probation and ordered him to pay
$3,135 restitution. Bell has already paid the family $800, said his
attorney, Bernard Grimm. He will likely begin serving the sentence within
the next few months.


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