Jacksonville drug dealer avoids life sentence

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A Jacksonville Beach drug dealer has avoided a life sentence by pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Twenty-one-year-old William Henry Brown agreed to a 35-year sentence in the killing of William Register on Friday. Official sentencing is scheduled Tuesday so Register's family can give victim impact statements.

Brown was charged with first-degree murder after a drug deal turned violent in October 2011. He shot the 33-year-old Register twice in the back after Register and two other mean tried to steal six pounds of marijuana worth $18,000.

Brown attempted to use a Stand Your Ground defense, but that was rejected because he was involved in a criminal act at the time of the shooting. The other men, Adam Holleran and Matthew Webber, have pleaded guilty to grand theft and testified against Brown.

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