Pa. man sentenced for fatally shooting friend over food

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Sunday, February 1, 2015
James Buterbaugh in a photo courtesy of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh

INDIANA, Pa. -- A central Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 4 to 10 years in prison in the shooting death of a longtime friend that authorities said followed a fight over food.

Fifty-nine-year-old James Buterbaugh of Marion Center apologized to the victim's family during Friday's sentencing in Indiana County Court.

Buterbaugh pleaded guilty last fall to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 51-year-old David Ackerson after an argument over two plates of food that the defendant's mother had given Ackerson on the Memorial Day weekend. Authorities said both had been drinking when Buterbaugh accused Ackerson of, in his words, "mooching."

Defense attorney Robert Bell said the two had been best friends for years, and his client is remorseful. He called it "a tragic example that sometimes good people do bad things."