Etowah Co. man sentenced to life in prison


An Etowah County judge has sentenced a man for the 2011 shooting death of Ian Brandon Taylor. {}Harold Eugene Deal, 52, was sentenced Thursday by Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican to life imprisonment. {}Deal was found guilty of Murder last month by an Etowah County jury. {}With at least seven prior felony convictions, Deal was judged as a habitual felony offender.Deal's arrest and conviction followed an investigation by the Gadsden Police Department. The undisputed evidence in the case established that Deal shot and killed the decedent while Taylor was visiting Deal at his home on January 31, 2011. {}Deal's defense attorneys argued that Deal acted in self-defense. {}Although most of the witnesses testified that at the time Deal shot the Defendant in the face with a handgun, the deceased was seated on the couch without a visible weapon of any kind. Deal testified that Taylor was about to attack him with a concealed knife.