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Virginia teenager sentenced to 17 years for fatal shooting

September 17, 2021 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Virginia teenager to 17 years in prison after his guilty plea earlier in the year to second-degree murder in a fatal shooting outside a restaurant.

Cameron Barclift, 18, was identified by witnesses and arrested just moments after the shooting in May 2019 near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported. Barclift was hanging out with friends and smoking marijuana in the parking lot when a number of restaurant workers walked out and got into a truck.

Authorities say Barclift fired one shot at the back of the truck and hit 23-year-old Cole Stuart Grant in the head. Barclift told police he fired his gun because someone in a truck called him a name and he feared the passengers would do something.

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On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Barclift to 17 years in prison, the maximum recommended by state sentencing guidelines. He initially was charged as a juvenile but was later ordered to stand trial as an adult. He pleaded guilty in March to second-degree murder and illegal use of a firearm. He’s been held in a juvenile detention center since his arrest but will be transferred to an adult prison.