By The Associated Press

JEFFERSONVILLE — A man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a co-worker in 2019 at their southern Indiana workplace has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison.

A Clark County judge sentenced Bobby Powell, 20, on Monday in the July 2019 killing of James Winters Jr., at a Big O Tires store in Jeffersonville where both men worked.

The judge suspended all but 10 years of his sentence and imposed strict probation conditions for the remainder of his sentence, the News and Tribune reported.

Powell, was originally charged with murder, but he pleaded guilty in November to voluntary manslaughter and carrying a handgun without a license within 500 feet of a school, both felonies.

His plea agreement specified that Powell pleaded guilty to an amended voluntary manslaughter charge for acting in “a sudden heat” and shooting Winters.

As part of his plea, Powell confirmed that he had shot Winters, who police say was unarmed, as his co-worker was running toward him after having threatened him earlier in the day.

If Powell had been convicted of the original murder charge, he could have been sentenced to 45 to 65 years in prison on that charge alone.