Brian Lee King, 39, of Asheboro, North Carolina, was originally indicted by a Boone County grand jury on one count of second-degree murder.
Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson said King used poor judgment and put himself into a bad situation.
“I am concerned with you history of using illegal drugs, which probably impaired your judgment that night,” Thompson told King during the sentencing hearing. “Now, Mr. Gilliam is not here to tell us what he thinks.”
The trial came after King got into a fight with Roy “Cheesy” Gilliam, 23, on the roadway in the Jeffrey-Spencer area of Boone County in the early morning hours of Feb. 22, 2012, and allegedly stabbing him to death.
King tried to claim self-defense saying the fight was “over a woman” and that Gillam attacked him.
According to a criminal complaint, King had been in the car with Gillam’s girlfriend, Lori Stevenson, and Gillam found them. A fight broke out, and he was stabbed once in the chest.
Police testified that King admitted to the altercation with Gillam. He also later admitted to having a knife and striking Gillam once in the chest with it.
King, however, told police he was “in fear for his life.”
Stevenson has said that she was just giving King a ride to get a cell phone.
Prosecutors were able to convince a jury that King could have walked away after the initial altercation with Gilliam, but instead made a decision to walk over to Gillam’s truck and stab him to death.
“I think the jury decided fact on your conviction of voluntary manslaughter and I am sentencing you to a term of 15 years,” Thompson said.
That was the maximum sentence. King faced no less than 3 and not more than 15 years in prison for the crime.