FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Fort Worth man to 40 years in prison for the 1973 cold-case killing of his friend when the two were teenagers.
Fifty-nine-year-old Melvin Knox was sentenced Monday after testifying earlier in the day that he didn’t realize the shotgun he was playing with was loaded when he pointed it at 14-year-old Donald Rodgers and fired.
Authorities say Knox, 15 at the time, retrieved a knife from a drawer at his home and then stabbed his friend.
They say he staged a scene to make it appear Rodgers was killed by an intruder.
Knox was initially arrested in the case but later released, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
He confessed in 2015 when interviewed by a cold-case investigator. He pleaded guilty to murder last month.