Georgia man who killed Iowa roommate in 2009 sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison



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SAC CITY, Iowa — A Georgia man convicted of killing his former roommate in Sac City has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

John Green, 55, of Blairsville, Georgia, was sentenced Friday in Sac County District Court, the Sioux City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1A9HGtr ). State law requires he serve at least 35 years of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

Green had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Mark Koster, of Sac City, but was convicted in April of the lesser offense of second-degree murder. It was the second trial for Green; his first ended in a mistrial.

Koster was declared missing in 2010. His remains were later found buried in his basement after new owners began renovations.

Green had said he killed Koster in self-defense. But prosecutors argued that Green manipulated the scene, evaded reporting the incident to police and that Green significantly outweighed Koster and therefore didn't need to kill the man to defend himself.

Green had no criminal record before the killing, and even the prosecutor in the case said Green's sentence was harsh.

"It's kind of unfortunate that the court doesn't have the discretion to consider other factors," Sac County Attorney Ben Smith said. "The rule is a one size fits all, and I don't think it works best for society."


Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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