BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – A man was sentenced 276 to 344 months in prison for the December 2016 murder of Anthony Roper in West Asheville.
According to a Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office news release, Colton Halford, of Buncombe County pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence protective order and possession of a deadly weapon in violation of a domestic violence protective order.
All of Halford’s charges were consolidated into the murder charge for his sentencing.
According to the news release, at One More Bar and Grill, located on Patton Avenue, on Dec. 16, 2016, witnesses said Halford shot Roper once in the chest before turning his Glock 42 .380 handgun on himself and shot himself under his own chin.
In the release, Halford reportedly saw his ex-fiancee with Roper, and Halford’s friend told Halford to leave to avoid a confronation.
According to the report, Halford left the bar, but went back inside through another door with a handgun and shot Roper in the chest.
Halford’s friend then pushed him back out the front door, which is when Halford shot himself in the chin.
Roper died at the scene from his injuries.
Halford survived and suffered multiple fractures to his facial area, as well as injuries to his tongue and mouth. He was taken to Mission Hospital for treatment.
According to the release, Halford’s blood alcohol level was .288 — or four-times the legal limit — at the time of the shooting, and he reportedly had benzodiazepines in his blood.
A psychiatric expert reportedly gave the opinion that Halford was suffering from the effects of intoxication from both the alcohol and the anxiety medication, as well as had an untreated panic disorder and depression.
His attorney said he has no recollection of the shootings.
Halford also previously attempted suicide on another occasion.
“The sudden tragic death of Anthony Roper is an unspeakable loss to his family, loved ones, and two young sons. I extend my sympathies to the Roper family for their loss,” District Attorney Todd Williams said.
“As a community we must do more to prevent violence. No criminal court proceeding will ever restore a life that is lost,” Williams said. “If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, displays signs of PTSD, or other emotional pain, please encourage them to seek help or refer them for help. If you are victim of domestic violence, services are available at the Family Justice Center.”