Felon sentenced to life in car wash murder

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Shawn Shanks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville felon was sentenced Friday morning to life in prison for the August 2009 murder of another man.

The sentence guarantees Shawn Shanks will never be released from prison.

Shanks, a three-time convicted felon, was found guilty in September on charges of second-degree murder for killing Willie Bell III. He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Shanks got into a verbal argument with Bell at a car wash on McDuff Avenue on the Westside. Two friends who were with Shanks tried to convince him to leave the area and end the argument, but Shanks refused.

The then-40-year-old pulled out a handgun and shot Bell in the face. Bell, 44, died at the scene.

Shanks has felony convictions for burglary and possession of cocaine.

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