Drug dealer avoids life sentence

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- 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 gone wrong 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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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