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25 to life for Schenectady man who pulled trigger in fatal daylight shooting

SCHENECTADY -- The Schenectady man who admitted to shooting a man in the back was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The shooting happened back in October 2012 on Schenectady Street. During a heated argument, 29-year-old Terell Bethea of Paige Street, said he shot 44-year-old Charles Bowman with a stolen .9mm handgun.

The men, who were familiar with each other, began arguing about a robbery that had taken place earlier in the day. Bethea accused Bowman of being involved and things escalated with Bowman allegedly pulling out a pocket knife. Although investigators believe Bowman pulled a knife, Bethea shot him twice - once in the side the other in the back - as Bowman was trying to run away. In court, Bethea admitted the shooting was intentional.

Bowman was never a suspect for the burglary Bethea accused him of being involved in. Investigators say Bowman did not fit the description of the burglary suspect described by eyewitnesses. The burglary investigation is still open.

Bethea, who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, was advised by his public defender about his options for defense including a psychiatric history which included treatment for PTSD, but the ultimate decision to plead guilty was Bethea's.  According to his attorney, Bethea intended to kill Bowman but has great remorse over what happened. Bethea, who turned himself into Schenectady Police shortly after the shooting, had one prior criminal conviction for drug possession in 2003.

He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in Schenectady County Court, with the possibility of parole after 17 years.
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