NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) _ A 25-year-old New London man who shot a local package store owner to death during a botched robbery in 2007 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

A New London Superior Court judge sentenced Gary Clarke on Thursday for the killing of 47-year-old Jared Silva, who owned Jared’s Packy. Clarke was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to a reduced manslaughter charge in May. He went on trial last year, but it ended with a hung jury.

Silva’s sister told the judge her brother was a kind man who went out of his way for his customers.

Clarke’s lawyer said his client never intended for anyone to get hurt and insisted the gun went off accidentally during a struggle with Silva.

Another man charged in the robbery awaits sentencing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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