Florida man gets life in prison for fatal bat attack

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Posted at 1:34 PM, Oct 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-31 13:34:00-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A northeast Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing another man with a baseball bat during a party.

A judge on Friday made the ruling for 36-year-old Alvin Kenneth Welch after he was convicted of manslaughter over the summer. He had been facing a second-degree murder charge. His prior record made a lighter sentence unlikely.

Authorities say Welch attended a gathering to watch the NFL playoffs in January 2014 at the home of 31-year-old Joshua Andrew Heinz. Prosecutors say Welch was cutting meat for a take-home plate when he got into an argument with Heinz over how it was being sliced. The Florida Times-Union reports that the argument escalated, and Welch picked up a bat and hit Heinz.

Welch testified that he was only acting in self-defense after Heinz threatened him with a knife.