Canyon Country truck driver pleads to manslaughter, assault

Michael McGlothan.


A Canyon Country truck driver who fled to New York and almost made it to Canada following a shooting in Canyon Country, pleaded no contest Friday to manslaughter and assault as part of a plea deal that gets him more than 28 years in prison.

Michael Joe McGlothan, 54, who was 51 when he was arrested, appeared Friday in San Fernando Superior Court where he entered a plea of no contest to charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, a firearm.

“He accepted a plea deal for 28 years and four months,” Deputy District Attorney Ani Bailey told The Signal Friday.

McGlothan was scheduled to appear back in court Dec. 20 for sentencing when he is expected to receive a 28-year 4-month prison sentence, she said.

McGlothan was arrested in the May 6, 2015, shooting death of 21-year-old Ledarion Allen Jr. of Lancaster.

The truck driver shot and wounded 30-year-old Shatari Shene Cooks inside an apartment on Sierra Highway in Canyon Country.

McGlothan and Cooks reportedly shared the apartment. And Cooks and Allen were shot inside the unit.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began looking for McGlothan immediately after the shooting but could not find him.

During the manhunt, detectives received many tips indicating the wanted man was in the San Gabriel Valley and the west side of Los Angeles, Lt. Eddie Hernandez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau said at the time of the arrest.

“But then we tracked him circling the area near the Pennsylvania-New York border,” he said in June 2015. “Once we got a feeling he was heading north to Canada, we decided to take him down.”

New York State Police followed McGlothan, driving a Volvo big rig, to the New York State Thruway toll barrier on Interstate 90 in the town of Ripley some 60 miles southwest of Buffalo.

The day after he was arrested, LASD homicide detectives filed an extradition warrant to begin the process of having their sole suspect in the murder returned to Los Angeles for trial.

Once McGlothan was placed in custody in Los Angeles, his bail was set at $3.03 million.

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