WILMINGTON, N.C. — A man has been sentenced to up to 28 years in prison for beating a bicyclist to death in North Carolina last year.

News outlets reported that 44-year-old Leonard Cleon Pocknett Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in New Hanover County Superior Court. Pocknett was originally charged with first-degree murder.

Police said 58-year-old Gregory Gineman was beaten to death May 10 in Wilmington. Investigators say Gineman and a friend were riding bikes when Gineman was nearly hit by Pocknett’s SUV. Investigators say Gineman yelled at Pocknett, who then followed the bikers and then got out and beat Gineman.

An autopsy said Gineman suffered fractures to his face, ribs and spine.

Pocknett’s 16-year-old son is also charged in the case and is to appear in court next week.

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