Ex-con sentenced to life for shooting death of Essex County man
A North Carolina man has been sentenced to life behind bars for killing a man who had given him a place to stay and helped him find a job.
James Height, 55, was found guilty in August of aggravated manslaughter and weapons charges, in connection with the June 2021 death of 55-year-old Orange resident Renown Wilson.
Height shot Wilson outside his home in Orange, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said. Wilson had known Height for years, and at one point allowed Height to stay at his home and helped him find employment.
But Height relocated to North Carolina following an argument, officials say. Five months later, on June 24, Height returned and shot Wilson twice. Wilson died from his injuries on July 2.
After the shooting, Height returned to North Carolina, where he was apprehended at home, officials said.
At the time of the shooting, Height had been out of prison for about a year, after serving 25 years for aggravated manslaughter.
At Height's sentencing, Superior Court Presiding Judge Mark Ali urged Height to spend his time behind bars counseling younger inmates to stay out of trouble upon their release.
The deadly encounter at Wilson's home was caught on surveillance camera, according to nj.com. Footage showed Height placing a revolver to Wilson's head in order to prevent him from entering his home.
"This senseless crime brought unnecessary suffering to Wilson's family and friends, who can now rest easier knowing that Height will never hurt them again," said Assistant Prosecutor F. Garnes.