Mesa man gets 20-year prison term for slaying

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PHOENIX -- A Mesa man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in federal prison in connection with a slaying on the Gila River Indian Reservation.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Joshua Phillips pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder.

Authorities say the victim had allegedly been spreading rumors that he was having an intimate relationship with co-defendant Augustine Thomas' girlfriend.

Those rumors caused Thomas to become upset and enlist the assistance of Phillips.

The two men drove to the victim's home on April 12, 2008. Authorities say a fight ensued and the victim died at the scene from multiple stab wounds.

Prosecutors say Thomas pleaded guilty in the case and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 23.

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