HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Xavier Green pleaded guilty in June to a charge of murder. Officials say Green and his best friend, Cornelius Powell, tried to rob two drug dealers on Galaxy Way in 2008.
Shots were fired. Green and Powell were hit. Powell died from the shooting.
Huntsville Police charged Green with felony murder. A judge sentenced Green. Prosecutors and Green's defense team prompted an interesting move from the judge.
Green was looking at 25 years behind bars. He would learn the exact amount of jail time while looking at the judge during sentencing. Green's appearance in front of a judge came about an unusual way.
'In this case, where the defendant did not fire the weapon, was not responsible for the death of his best friend and was shot himself, these are extraordinarily rare facts, said Madison County Assistant District Attorney Jay Town.
Green and Powell were shot in December 2011.
'If a felony is being committed and someone dies, even if it is co-conspirator or accomplice, all the survivors who participated in the felony can be charged with felony murder," added Town.
Police charged only Green. He pleaded guilty to the murder charge.
'Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is not going to be a good enough excuse any longer. The state could have easily justified not bringing charges at all or maybe just bringing attempted robbery charges," added Town.
Prosecutors found no other felony items in Green's criminal history. The lead prosecutor was compelled.
'When a victim`s mother calls you directly and pleas for leniency, it's something not only do we have to consider, but we have to tell the defendant," added Town.
The judge listened. Green will serve five years behind bars.
Green's sentence includes probation. He will face more time in jail if he gets another charge during that time.