Man sentenced to 6 to 12 years on 3rd-degree murder plea in slaying after basketball fight

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WILKES-BARRE, Pennsylvania — A man has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in the shooting death of another man following a fight between their teenage sons on a northeastern Pennsylvania basketball court.

Thirty-eight-year-old Shauntae Thomas of Wilkes-Barre entered the plea Tuesday in Luzerne County Court to a charge of third-degree murder in the April 2013 death of 40-year-old Derrick Cottle in Wilkes-Barre.

A jury trial in the case was scheduled to begin this week. Members of the victim's family said they agreed with the recommended sentence.

Defense attorney Peter Moses said his client acted out of the heat of passion after seeing his son beaten.

Thomas tearfully declined comment as he left court. He will be credited with 18 months he has already served in jail.

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