Ackerman sentenced to 10.5 years for manslaughter

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An alcohol-augmented fight which escalated into a fatal shooting over two years ago in the BlueWater Lagoon neighborhood of Parker, AZ was the center of a court proceeding Monday which saw Sean Ackerman get 10.5 years in prison for manslaughter.

Ackerman, 46, who was originally charged with homicide for the shooting death of his older neighbor Daniel Porter, had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was in La Paz County Superior Court on a day-long hearing. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Ackerman sat next to his attorney Matthew Newman, with County Attorney Tony Rogers representing the prosecution at the opposite table. Judge Robert C. Olson heard from both sides as they each attempted to demonstrate aggravating and mitigating factors which would determine the length of Ackerman’s sentence.

Mr. Rogers gave an impassioned opening statement, saying that Ackerman’s house had been a party spot in the neighborhood. He implied that Ackerman was a “man of means” and that others would flock around to drink his alcohol and party at his house. He said that Ackerman had been drinking that day, and that his dispute with Daniel Porter was long-running. He told the court that Ackerman ran outside to confront Porter, that he had brought a gun and shot him “execution-style” with a bullet entering a raised palm which Rogers says is the universal sign of surrender. He then alleged that Ackerman had planted a weapon on Porter’s body, placing a knife next to his hand which he had dipped in blood, before fleeing to California. Ackerman bought two disposable cellphones, he told the court, sending one to his wife so that they could communicate without it being traced to him. These facts, Rogers said, demonstrated that Ackerman knew he was guilty, and that he didn’t try to save Porter’s life or face up to the decisions that he had made.

Mr. Newman responded on behalf of his client, taking issue with Rogers’ characterization of what happened. He said that Ackerman was not a rich man, and that his house was not the perpetual party scene that Rogers had painted it to be. He focused his opening statement on the behavior of the victim that day, saying that Porter’s blood alcohol content was measured at a .29 and saying that he had been in an “alcohol-fueled rage” on the day of the incident. Newman described numerous attempts of Porter to start a fight with Ackerman over parking that day, and how his behavior had been noted by other neighbors who had talked about calling the police on him. He said that Porter had arrived to Ackerman’s place that day with potential weapons including a “homemade club” in his truck, and suggested that Ackerman could reasonably have considered the visit a threat to his life.

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Ultimately the defense did not argue against the allegations that Ackerman planted a knife, fled the scene and hid from the police for a few days. Newman said he does not know if Ackerman planted the knife, but argued that those decisions were made in a shocked, incoherent state after the incident had happened, and said that Daniel Porter’s behavior amounted to “big mitigating factors” in sentencing.

The proceeding continued with witnesses including neighbors, law enforcement officers and others giving testimony that was intended to present either aggravating or mitigating factors in favor of less or more prison time. The sentencing options ranged from 7 to 21 years, with Olson hearing from family members of the parties too, some of whom were present in the courtroom and some who recorded video statements for the court.

Ackerman testified on his own behalf, too, citing Daniel Porter’s actions as being what led to his death. “I believe Daniel Porter had a death wish,” he told the court, adding that Porter thought he was “popping his tires” and doing other things to aggravate him.

Judge Olson sentenced Ackerman to 10.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections after accepting one aggravating factor – the older age of the victim – and one mitigating factor – no criminal history.

Original report HERE. Ackerman in custody HERE.

21 comments

  1. Tina Rose

    Noway!!! Manslaughter !!!!!! This is so sad. People please read.

  2. Loretta Flaherty

    That’s IT?? My friend’s husband watched him blow the guy’s head off damn near and has PTSD from it now and this is ALL he gets??

  3. Taylor Gillaspy

    Margit Aaron Nick Aaron our neighbor

  4. Knew Danny since the day I as born. My godfather…

  5. knew Danny since I as born, 46 years

  6. He got off easy because he was white. If he was black or brown he would of got the death penalty. The judges here in Lapaz County are prejudiced.

  7. Randy S. Ackermann

    I believe that it was too much time,3 years would have been More than enough time considering what Ackerman ,& his wife had been going through for the last 2,&1/2 years that they have spent at the Blue Water Lagoon. The prosicution was completely rediculous with all of their info. The witnesses were totally wacko with their testimony, & the victims of Danial Porter we’re completely bazaar, a specially the daughter. I hope for Sean Ackerman’s sake that He’ll be out in 7 years or less. He’s just not the type that should even be there in the 1st place, but because of the incident, the law is the law. I just hope that anyone at the Blue Water Lagoon will understand that You never take advantage of people that are good to you or whoever. So let that be a wake ou call for everyone living there.& maybe You won’t run into another Danial Porter just like the one that We all used to know.

  8. Randy S. Ackermann

    I knew Sean Ackerman since He was born, I know He happens to be My brother. He would not hurt anyone unless that they were to hurt Him 1st. His victim is a prime example of it. I show absolutely no remorse for the victim’s ex wife,& daughter for their testimony which was so false. I don’t want God to bless them, Amen!!

  9. Manslaughter? Are you KIDDING me? I live by these people and This is BS! Mr Porter did NOT have a death wish! The law in this case is wrong. I can’t wait to get the hell out of AZ!

  10. they both got what they deserved

  11. Randy S. Ackermann – Wow! I SMH!!!!!

  12. Meeshell Strickland Love

    This happened right by my home. This was murder! I do not understand this what-so-ever. and then to top it all off he ran! He is lucky his ass was not in CA killing people. This really makes me mad! Porter was an innocent man and should still be here today. What a damn’ shame!

  13. You lost me at him being lucky he wasn’t in California.

  14. Monalisa Cortez

    Worked at guard shack for 12 years and I dealt with Dan when he was out raged cause his rental across from Shaun the water metor would be run over and Dan would be out raged and I mean out raged but like I would tell him people go park their golf carts there to go into the park so couldn’t really blame it on Sean but what people never saw was Dans acting so crazy wanting to violently tear someone’s head off over a water metor and Dan was in the war and he told me he would have violent out burst at night waking up screaming and no one knows the real truth of it all cause he is dead but I knew both these people and Shaun would give u the shit off his back and so would Dan but like I said Dan had violent tendency and I just feel for Monica Dan’s wife (widow) so before people no judging how much time a person gets think about what really happened in that situation no one knows if there was self-defense because I could see myself trying to defend myself against Dan he had violent tendencies and over a water meter come on

  15. You people have it all twisted!

  16. I live in California and read all ur comments and it looks like a 70 yr old man with a bac .29 got shot because he was drunk and threatened the neighbor. In court it is stated his bac. is .29 that much alcohol in a person and on ur way to take care of problem with the neighbor ur a drunk asshole at that point. Stay home call the police it’s there job, keep calling them til they do take care of it. It’s unfortunate he died Mr Ackerman could of called the police also. Reality is the drunk guy shouldnt try to be a cop ?????? I have been going to the river for over 30 yrs. Seen a couple fatal incidents alcohol related and just hurt alot of people not involved.

  17. Hmmm, at what point does leaving your property to assault, execute, a man in his truck, count as any justification, then he ran away…. just saying

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