VERNON, Conn. (AP) _ An East Hartford man accused of throwing a fatal punch during UConn’s Spring Weekend last year has pleaded no contest to manslaughter.

Edi Rapo will be sent to prison for up to five-and-a-half years. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9. His full sentence would be 10 years, suspended after five and a half, followed by five years of probation under the agreement.

He entered his plea Friday at Rockville Superior Court.

Rapo’s lawyer, William Gerace, may argue for a shorter prison term.

With a no-contest plea, the defendant does not admit or deny guilt. Gerace says Rapo pleaded no contest because a lawsuit is pending.

Donald Altschuler, a lawyer who represents the family of the victim, Jafar Karzoun, said Rapo avoids accepting responsibility with his no-contest plea.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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