A Maine man who fatally shot his sister's boyfriend has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
Mark Cardilli Jr., 25, was convicted of manslaughter in December after testifying that he shot Isahak Muse — a 22-year-old Black, Muslim man who was dating his younger sister — in self-defense during a confrontation at his home in March 2019.
On Monday, a judge ordered Cardilli to serve seven and a half years in prison and four years of probation, ABC affiliate WMTW reported.
The judge cited Cardilli's military service as an “overwhelming mitigating” circumstance, saying that Cardilli made "a devastating decision" and he would likely not reoffend, according to the outlet.
During the sentencing hearing, Cardilli's younger sister — who previously testified that her brother had made racist remarks about Somali and Muslim people — claimed that the shooting was motivated by race in her victim-impact statement.
"I will never be like you. What you did to him, show people that to you, Black lives don't matter and to be able to say it had nothing to do with race is the privilege that you have,” Chelsey Cardilli said.
Muse's sister, Asli Muse, also addressed the court in a statement, saying, "Every single day we cry, my father cries, Isahak's mother cries, my sisters cry, my brothers cry. There's not one day that we smile and we feel regret for being somewhat happy. I have a child now. Isahak never got to meet her."
Previous testimony said that Cardilli ran to his room to retrieve a handgun when Muse refused to leave the family's Portland home, Associated Press reported.
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Cardilli, who waived the right to a jury trial, testified that he shot Muse after he was punched, saying that he feared his sister's boyfriend would hurt his family.
During his five-day trial, prosecution argued that Muse was unarmed at the time of the shooting and an autopsy indicated he was shot in the back, News Center Maine reported.
Meanwhile, Cardilli's defense argued that the case was not about race, but the limits of Maine's self-defense law, which allows the use of deadly force in self-defense and defense of premises.
A legal representative for Cardilli did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
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- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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