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Tasman Stockdale accepts plea, walks free on involuntary manslaughter charges

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Tasman Stockdale

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By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man has accepted a plea for the February killing of Demareo O’Bryant Bost and after receiving credit for the five months he served in the local jail awaiting a trial, will walk free with supervised probation.

Tasman Stockdale, 28, has been in the Rowan County Detention Center since his July arrest. The shooting occurred Feb. 17 at 312 Oakwood Ave. where, according to court statements, drinking had occurred. The victim, 28, was said to have been intoxicated that night and reportedly stabbed someone with a knife.

The maximum sentence Stockdale could have received for second-degree murder, the original charge, would have been five years. He essentially received a minimum of a year and a maximum of two years for involuntary manslaughter, which was suspended to three years of probation.

According to Stockdale, who spoke in court, Bost and he were like brothers. Bost apparently became belligerent and chased Stockdale with the knife. Stockdale said he tried to leave, but couldn’t find his keys.

He says he heard a gunshot and turned, thinking Bost was still chasing him. Stockdale said Bost was standing and then collapsed. Stockdale said he administered CPR to his friend until medical personnel arrived.

Salisbury Police said via statements read in court that Stockdale has left out some details about that night and is responsible for Bost’s death. According to Assistant District Attorney Greg Butler, statements from witnesses who were at the house that night differ considerably.

Butler said Bost was agitated that night and had a knife and gun with him. He threatened people in the house. He said some witnesses who were inside the house looking into the driveway saw a confrontation between Stockdale and Bost.

A witness told investigators they heard Bost say, “you shot me bro,” Butler said.

A medical examiner’s report showed Bost was shot from behind. He had a bullet entry wound in the back that exited the front of his body. After Stockdale rendered aid to Bost, he left the scene.

“We don’t know what happened in the interim,” Butler said.

Bost’s mother, Karen Blackwell, couldn’t hold back the tears as she faced Stockdale and asked why he killed her son. She told the court that the two men were like brothers and she considered Stockdale like a son.

Other family members also spoke, including Demareo Bost’s sister Latoya, his nephew and father. Members of Stockdale’s family also spoke, including his mother, Sonji Clegg Stockdale and his brother, Dezmond.

Stockdale said he hoped one day Bost’s family could forgive him. He said he regretted how things happened that night.

See more in Friday’s Post.

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