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Iowa man sentenced to life for killing roommate with machete

September 18, 2021 GMT

AMES, Iowa (AP) — An 57-year-old Iowa man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his roommate during a fight over the cost of a video game.

David Sean Hunter, of Ames, was sentenced Friday for first-degree murder in the November 2019 death of 37-year-old Christopher Swalwell, The Ames Tribune reports.

The stabbing happened after Hunter gave Swalwell his credit card information in order to create an account for a game on Swalwell’s Xbox. While Hunter thought the charge would be $1, the charge was actually $15.99.

Assistant Story County attorney Tiffany Meredith said Hunter was so angry over the charge that he went to confront Swalwell in his room. When Swalwell responded that he was sleeping, Meredith said that Hunter brought in a kukri machete and “picked a fight.”

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Swalwell sustained around 40 hits from the knife, according to the state medical examiner.

Swalwell’s mother, Nancy Croker, said in a statement that was read in court that her son “was butchered” over nothing.

“Sixteen miserable dollars,” Croker lamented.

Hunter immediately appealed. His attorney Christopher Kragnes had argued in court Friday that his client has always said he acted in self-defense.

“He’s not denying that Mr. Swalwell died at his hands, he has just maintained that he was justified,” Kragnes said.