TEXAS CITY — A man whose pistol fired a bullet that ricocheted off the ground before striking and killing a bystander during an altercation outside a Texas City convenience store was sentenced to four years in prison Monday.

Charmon Leon Smith, 25, was charged with murder for the April 6, 2012, death of Marion Glenn Hines, 50, but was convicted by a Galveston County jury of the lesser offense of manslaughter, a second degree felony.

Prosecutors argued that because Smith’s weapon discharged as he was committing assault, Hines’ death was not an accident.

Police said the incident, which was recorded by surveillance video at Tiger Express, 1025 Fifth Ave. N., began when Smith arrived at the convenience store with his girlfriend. After exiting the store, Smith began arguing with a 17-year-old and went to retrieve a handgun from his vehicle.

Police said Smith attempted to hit the teenager with the pistol. The 17-year-old blocked the blow, and Smith’s gun fell to the pavement, police said. The weapon fired and a bullet struck Hines, who was standing outside the store and was not involved in the disturbance.

Smith picked up the gun and drove away, and officers found Hines in the parking lot. Hines was flown to the University of Texas Medical Branch and died of the gunshot wound to his stomach, police said.

Relatives and friends told The Daily News in 2012 that Hines was the oldest of triplets born in Texarkana and moved to Texas City with his family as an infant.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

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