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N.C. teen says he didn't mean to shoot store clerk

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An Allegheny County judge must decide what degree of murder a North Carolina teen committed when he fatally shot clerk in a suburban Pittsburgh convenience store.

Seventeen-year-old Eric Hancock of Greensboro, N.C., acknowledges killing 28-year-old Jamal Mouzaffar during a robbery last August. Hancock was visiting relatives in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Oliver when the robbery took place.

Hancock testified he didn’t mean to kill the clerk and pulled the trigger because he “just got scared and tensed up” during the heist.

Hancock faces life in prison if convicted of first- or second-degree murder. He faces a maximum of 20 to 40 years if convicted of third-degree murder, without premeditation. That’s the verdict his attorney wants.

Judge Jeffrey Manning says he’ll rule Thursday.

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