- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - A Columbus man has been sentenced to life in prison after a Lowndes County jury convicted him of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Randall Cooper Jr. was convicted Friday for the fatal shooting of Virgil Harris in December 2013.

Prosecutors say the 23-year-old Harris was shot as he was getting out of vehicle on a city street on Dec. 20, 2013. Authorities say Harris was shot several more times as he lay on the ground.

Prosecutors say Cooper was a passenger in the vehicle and fired the fatal shots.

According to local media reports, the defense argued Cooper shot Harris in self-defense because Harris had a gun and had threatened others in the car.

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