A 24-year-old man from St. Louis was initially facing first-degree murder charges, but he recently agreed to a plea deal. As a result, he has pleaded guilty to armed criminal action charges and second-degree murder charges.

He’ll go to jail for the next 12 years.

The incident happened back in 2016. According to the authorities, the man started fighting with another man, who was 23 years old at the time. As the physical altercation escalated, he took out a gun and shot and killed that second man. Emergency crews were not even able to get him to a medical center before he passed away.

However, a woman was nearby and watched the shooting unfold. She was also armed, so she took out her gun and shot at the man who was left standing. She hit him four times: In the face, in the shoulder, in the hand and in the arm. He did wind up in a hospital, and his mug shot shows him still wearing bandages and a hospital gown.

So, why is this plea deal significant? The 12-year sentence for second-degree murder is far less than the man may have faced without the plea deal. Under Missouri law, those convicted on charges of first-degree murder could get life behind bars and never be granted a chance at parole. The state also still has the option of the death penalty in certain cases.

As you can see, it is very important to know all of your legal options when facing serious charges for violent crimes. Plea deals are not for everyone, but they can offer an alternative.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “St. Louis man gets 12 years for murder in plea deal,” accessed March 16, 2018