LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A Lansing-area man convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 23-year-old Michigan State University senior has been sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison.

Nineteen-year-old Connor McCowan learned his punishment Wednesday morning.

A jury in Ingham County Circuit Court earlier convicted McCowan in the attack, which happened at an off-campus apartment. Authorities said that McCowan went to Andrew Singler’s apartment in Meridian Township on Feb. 23 with a plan to kill him.

Authorities say the fight stemmed from an argument between Singler and McCowan’s sister, who were dating at the time. Court documents show the fight started after McCowan’s sister told him that Singler had broken one of her ribs during an argument — a claim which later turned out to be false.

The two men exchanged multiple texts throughout the night before McCowan, armed with a knife, decided to confront Singler at his apartment.

McCowan contended that he acted in self-defense and took the stand during his trial.

“I was scared,” McCowan said in court, crying. “I was scared that Andrew was going to hurt me even worse than he already had. Going over to his apartment was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Because I went over there, lives were changed forever. … Please don’t lock me up and throw away the key.”

But Ingham County Circuit Judge Clinton Canady said McCowan showed intent by arriving at Singler’s apartment with a weapon.

“You came there ready, at a minimum, to do great bodily harm with a knife,” she said. “The bottom line is there was a death, Mr. McCowan, a death at your hands. Mr. Singler will not be coming back.”

Defense lawyer Chris Bergstrom said an appeal is planned.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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