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Nebraska man sentenced to up to 60 years for fatal shooting

November 23, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Tuesday sentenced a man to as long as 60 years in prison for manslaughter for a fatal shooting in a Lincoln alley.

Lancaster County District Judge Jodi Nelson sentenced 31-year-old Ryan Long to 49 to 60 years in prison for the May 2020 death of Michael Whitemagpie, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Long could be eligible for parole after 27 years. His family left the court after Nelson announced his sentence, the newspaper reported.

Long was tried on a charge of first-degree murder, but a jury last month found that Long killed Whitemagpie without malice during a sudden quarrel.

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Long had argued that he shot Whitemagpie in self-defense on May 23, 2020, after Whitemagpie called him a racial slur and approached him aggressively about an hour after the two men had fought at a Lincoln hotel following a night of gambling.

Prosecutors argued that Long fired 16 times at Whitemagpie, showing he acted out of rage, not self-defense.

Long apologized to Whitemagpie’s friends and family Tuesday.

“This whole situation wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did,” he said. “I can’t take it back. I wish I could.”