By Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in New Hanover County say a man charged in the 2014 shooting death of his friend has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Local media outlets report the murder trial of 23-year-old Demarius Kelly was scheduled to begin Monday in New Hanover County Superior Court. Instead, Kelly entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 24 to 30 years in prison in the killing of 19-year-old Harry Eason of Wilmington.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says Kelly shot Eason just after midnight on March 17, 2014. Court records indicate the two were in a dispute over a dirt bike when Kelly opened fire.

Kelly originally faced multiple charges, including first-degree murder and possession of a stolen firearm, but the other charges were dismissed as part of the plea arrangement.

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