- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A former Willamette University football player has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a drug charge in connection with the killing of a 66-year-old man in Salem last year.

Twenty-two-year-old Beau Wesley Smith changed his plea on Monday and was sentenced to just over six years in prison.

Smith was a senior chemistry major when he was arrested Nov. 12 about a half-mile from where Michael Hampshire’s body was found at 3:40 a.m. An autopsy showed Hampshire died of blunt-force injuries to the head. Smith was initially charged with murder.

A lawyer for Smith has said in court papers that the student acted in self-defense.

Smith also pleaded guilty to possession of illegal mushrooms.

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