Huntsville bail bondsman sentenced 15 years for manslaughter - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville bail bondsman sentenced 15 years for manslaughter

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James Baugh (Source: Metro Jail) James Baugh (Source: Metro Jail)
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Huntsville bail bondsman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for killing a handcuffed teen.

James Baugh, the owner of One Hour Bonding, pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter for the death of 19-year-old Danny Moore.

Moore was killed during a September 2010 shooting on Deerfield Road in Huntsville.

Authorities say Baugh went with two recovery agents to track down Moore who had failed to pay his share of bond for a misdemeanor drug charge.

Prosecutors say during the recovery, Moore was located in his car on Deerfield Road. The bondsmen ordered him to get out of his car and then handcuffed him. They say while Baugh was taking him into custody, his shot gun went off. Moore was hit in the back of the head and killed.

During the sentencing, the defense told the judge the shooting was an "absolute accident." The attorney said Baugh was unfamiliar with firearms and had never fired his shot gun before that night.

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Baugh 20 years.

Danny Moore's father and grandmother came forward to speak on behalf of him. The grandmother said she had hoped for a trial, but at this point "wanted justice."

His father told the judge, "You can't give this man enough of a sentence to make what he did right."

Baugh came forward and apologized to Moore's family for his carelessness. He said, "I wish I could go back. I have sat up many nights and thought about what it must have been like to get that phone call."

Baugh then faced the judge and said "what stands before this court is not a monster."

As the judge read Baugh his sentence of 15 years in prison, she said "This is a hard case. Up to this point, I see a life-well lived. I am pleased to see Mr. Baugh has not made any excuses and has taken responsibility for what happened that night."

Baugh's attorney was disappointed with the sentence. Robert Tuten said, "we hoped for a better sentence for James Baugh because this was certainly an accident, a very tragic thing that happened for everybody involved."

Danny Moore's family told WAFF 48 they were also disappointed with the sentence because they hoped it would be longer.

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