◼ There were tears on both sides of a Humboldt County courtroom Tuesday as a judge sentenced a 24-year-old McKinleyville man to 42 years to life in prison for murdering his friend and threatening a witness. - Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Prosecutors alleged in the trial that Steele murdered George in January, shooting him after the two engaged in an escalating argument over Mercedes Benzes, with Steele claiming to be the youngest man in McKinleyville driving one and George saying he knew plenty of other people Steele's age and younger driving the luxury cars.
Steele said he shot George in self-defense that night when a drunk and belligerent George rushed at him with fists clenched. Then, Steele said, he panicked before he, his friends and family members worked to destroy evidence of the killing and disposed of George's body, which has never been recovered.