NEWARK, N.J. — A man convicted of gunning down a New Jersey store clerk three years ago to prevent him from testifying in a robbery case has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

A judge in Essex County imposed the sentence Friday on 34-year-old Rick King and also added a consecutive 40-year sentence for the earlier robbery.

A jury in December convicted King of murder, witness tampering, armed robbery, aggravated assault on a police officer and weapons offenses.

Prosecutors said he went to Roseway Liquors in February 2015 and shot 28-year-old Amit Patel, the lone witness to a robbery committed by King on Halloween in 2013.

The judge cited King’s 11 prior arrests and five felony convictions including possession of an illegal weapon and drug possession.

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