- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A judge has sentenced a Fort Worth man to 40 years in prison for the 1973 cold-case killing of his friend when the two were teenagers.

Fifty-nine-year-old Melvin Knox was sentenced Monday after testifying earlier in the day that he didn’t realize the shotgun he was playing with was loaded when he pointed it at 14-year-old Donald Rodgers and fired.

Authorities say Knox, 15 at the time, retrieved a knife from a drawer at his home and then stabbed his friend.

They say he staged a scene to make it appear Rodgers was killed by an intruder.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Knox was initially arrested in the case but later released.

He confessed in 2015 when interviewed by a cold-case investigator.

He pleaded guilty to murder last month.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com

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