Army Veteran Guilty of Slashing Man’s Throat Gets 80 Years

Man slashed former Marine's throat during bar argument about which branch of military was better

By Molly Priddy

BILLINGS — An Army veteran has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for slashing the throat of a former Marine during a drunken argument over which branch of the military was better.

The Billings Gazette reports that 63-year-old William Earl Cunningham was sentenced Tuesday after his March conviction of deliberate homicide in the August 2014 death of 40-year-old Nathan Horn in Laurel.

Cunningham claimed he acted in self-defense when he slashed Horn’s throat. The men were arguing over whether the Army or Marines is the better branch of the military.

At the sentencing Cunningham told the family he prays for them to have peace and comfort and told them he was sorry Horn had died.

Horn’s aunt said Cunningham “deserved to hurt” because of the pain he caused their family.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.