PHOENIX -- A man who had claimed self-defense in the shooting death of a man during a confrontation in a Phoenix restaurant's drive-thru lane has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
A jury last November acquitted Cordell Jude, now 24, of second-degree murder but convicted him of reckless manslaughter in the 2012 death of 29-year-old Daniel Adkins.
Judge John Ditsworth of Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Jude on Friday.
Jude was also ordered to pay restitution to Adkins' family.
"Although the aggravating factors of this offense carry a lengthier possible prison term, the sentence imposed today holds the defendant accountable for needlessly taking the life of a member of our community and causing endless grief for the victim's family," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "It also demonstrates the ability of Arizona's criminal justice system to fairly distinguish between a citizen's lawful use of deadly physical force and a crime of homicide as clearly defined in our statutes."
The confrontation occurred about 7:45 p.m. on April 3, 2012 when Adkins walked with his dog through a restaurant parking lot near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road. He stepped around a blind corner in front of Jude's car, forcing Jude to brake suddenly.
Jude told police Adkins yelled at him and struck his car with a bat or similar object. He then shot Adkins one time and called police.
Jude told police he feared for his life because Adkins was preparing to take another swing. No bat or similar object was found at the scene.