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Just before death penalty trial, man takes plea for life sentence in Aiken officer's death


AIKEN, South Carolina — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to killing an Aiken police officer in a shooting more than three years ago.

Multiple media outlets report that Stephon Carter accepted a plea deal Monday, the day testimony in his death penalty trial was supposed to start. In exchange, he agreed to the life sentence and to drop any appeals.

Carter shot officer Scotty Richardson during a 2011 traffic stop as police investigated a nearby shooting.

Prosecutors say they accepted the plea deal to make sure Carter never got out of prison.

Richardson's wife told the judge she worried about her husband, but felt he was safe in a place like Aiken.

Carter apologized for taking away a son, father and officer.

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