- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) - A Chester man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in the slaying a Virginia State University student last fall during a party inside a student housing complex near the Ettrick campus.

According to media reports, 21-year-old Bryan W. Williams Jr. entered his plea Thursday to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old student Eric N. Wilkins. He was shot in the back.

Wilkins was a bystander and unintended victim of the violence.

Williams was initially charged with first-degree murder.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Williams was sentenced to 43 years in prison, with 28 years suspended. That leaves 15 years to serve.

Wilkins was a 2009 graduate of Hopewell High School. He was expecting to graduate from VSU this year.

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