An Indianapolis, Indiana, man received a court sentence of probation for the 2015 fatal shooting of his son.
The two men allegedly got into an argument on the morning in question about biscuits and gravy.
According to many news outlets, Fred Fleener III shot his son Fred Fleener IV, age 22, in the chest on the morning of November 14, 2015, and the son later died in a local hospital during surgery. Responding cops found the younger man wounded and lying on the living room floor. The 911 dispatcher reportedly had informed the officers as they headed to the scene that the victim’s father was the shooter and that he would be cooperative.
According to the family, the elder Fleener, 46, acted in self defense and that the victim had a history of physically abusing the family. He voluntarily discussed what happened with the officers.
The medical examiner determined that a gunshot to the chest was the cause of death and classified the manner of death as a homicide.
After an investigation, Fleener senior was charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless homicide. As part of a plea bargain, prosecutors evidently dropped the voluntary manslaughter charge.
On May 30, a sentence of two years probation was imposed for the reckless homicide charge, WXIN-TV, Fox 59 in Indianapolis, reported.
The tragic encounter resulted from the biscuits-and-gravy altercation, the Indy Star explained.
“The daughter told police that her father sent her out to get breakfast platters for everyone that morning. When she returned, her brother became upset, because he wanted two platters but only got one, court documents said. She said Fleener IV threw something at their cousin, and his father came to the cousin’s defense. Both the cousin and the daughter said the father and son began fighting, and the fight ended when they heard one or two gunshots. Fleener III’s daughter said she then heard her brother say, ‘Dad, you shot me,’ court documents said.”
— WISH-TV (@WISH_TV) November 16, 2015
Referring to his son’s behavior, Fleener III allegedly told cops that “I just snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore. He was a bully,” the Indy Star added. The cousin who was present in the home during the dispute reportedly was wheelchair bound with MS.
The deceased son allegedly had bipolar disorder and suffered with anxiety and depression and supposedly had ceased taking his meds around the time of the incident. “This has gone on for a long time. We’re so tired of this. He’s always beating on us,” the victim’s sister told cops on the scene.
Krystalen Fleener also expressed her feelings to WISH-TV in Indianapolis in the aftermath of the shooting.
“I love my brother so much, and I know my dad did too. This isn’t my dad, and I guess I’m saying that he snapped. I mean, somebody can only handle so much at a time. We never understood why my brother turned the way he did and started doing the things he was doing to us. He’s torn us apart, but it doesn’t change the fact that I miss him, love him and I wish he was with me right now.”
In a wholly unrelated matter several years ago, an apparently disgruntled Waffle House customer was arrested for allegedly shattering the front door of an Atlanta outlet with his foot over a 50-cent increase in the price of a sausage biscuit, according to police.
While it’s difficult if not impossible from the outside to know all the relevant facts that were presented in court, do you think that, in general, probation is reasonable for the Indianapolis father who shot his son after they got into an argument over biscuits and gravy?
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