BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A Massachusetts man serving a lengthy prison sentence for killing a former schoolmate in a dispute over a woman says he wants early release because he has a terminal illness.

Alexander Phillips, of Barnstable, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2008 in connection with the stabbing death of 19-year-old Anthony Rano, of Yarmouth. The Cape Cod Times reports that the 31-year-old Phillips’ lawyer says he became ill with cancer in February — more than 10 years into his nearly 20-year sentence.

Phillips’ lawyer said Tuesday in Barnstable Superior Court that the cancer has metastasized throughout his body and his client has 18 months to live at most.

Rano’s family argued in court that it would not be fair for Phillips to be released early.

Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times,

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