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Phoenix Father Sentenced to Eight Years for Beating to Death Man Accused of Trying to Break Into Daughter’s Bathroom Stall

An Arizona man convicted for killing a man accused of trying to force his way into a convenience store restroom occupied by the killer’s teen daughter will spend the next eight years behind bars.

Melvin Harris III, 41, was sentenced last month after pleading guilty to manslaughter in November, Phoenix station 12 News reported. Harris admitted to pummeling Leon Armstrong, outside a QuikTrip in August 2018 after Harris’ daughter and her friends accused him of trying to get inside the teen’s bathroom stall.

Melvin Harris
Melvin Harris III was initially charged with second-degree murder in the beating that killed Leon Armstrong. (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

According to police documents, the enraged father went inside and “told a security guard he needed to take care of the situation, or [Harris] would do it himself.” The guard told Harris he would handle it, but the father then went outside and got in his car and drove to a gravel area where Armstrong had walked to after being evicted from the store. Harris then got out of his car to confront Armstrong, whereupon witnesses say he punched the alleged creep in the face, knocked him down, and beat him up some more.

Armstrong suffered a fractured nose and brain swelling in the attack. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

Harris told authorities he was only trying to protect his daughter, adding that Armstrong swung at him first upon being confronted, the Arizona Republic reported. He also denied striking the man once he was down.

Harris originally faced a second-degree murder charge but agreed to the lesser charge of manslaughter as part of a plea deal.

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