Huntsville man sentenced for the murder of best friend - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville man sentenced for the murder of best friend

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Huntsville man will do prison time for his best friend's death, even though he didn't fire the shot that killed him.

A Madison County judge ordered Xavier Green a 20 year split sentence for the murder of Cornelius Powell. Under the sentence, Green will serve 5 years in prison, followed by 5 years on probation. If he violates his probation requirements, Green will have to serve the remaining 15 years in prison.

Green's conviction stems from a December 2011 shooting in the parking lot of the Twickenham Apartments on Galaxy Way in Huntsville.

His best friend Cornelius Powell was killed during an attempted robbery. Authorities say Powell and Green were trying to rob two drug dealers when shots were fired from both sides.

Although Green did not fire the shot that killed Powell, he was charged with murder. Alabama law brings forth the charge when a person is killed during the act of a Class A Felony. No one else was charged in the case.

Green pleaded guilty to the murder in June. The charge brought a sentence range of 20 years to life in prison.

During the sentencing, the defense asked the judge to consider the unusual circumstances of the case. The defense attorney also asked the judge to consider the fact that Green was 19 years old at the time of the incident and this is his first felony charge.

Prosecutors told the judge the victim's mother asked for leniency. She told them it was not Green's fault her son was killed.

Xavier Green stood before the judge and apologized to his family and to the court. He said he is saddened by the loss of his best friend.

As the judge made her decision she told the courtroom, "I am torn." She told Green as she read him his sentence, "You are too young to be in this much trouble," and "this is your last chance."

We spoke with Assistant District Attorney Jay Town after the sentencing. He said, "[Green] caught a break today but quite frankly under the circumstances and under these facts, Xavier Green really did get a stiff sentence. The message needs to be to our youth that if you pick up a gun, and just because you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, it can still have severe consequences."

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