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Man pleads guilty in murder of Camp Lejeune Marine

Published On: Apr 07 2014 12:33:14 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 07 2014 05:38:49 PM CDT

A man has admitted to shooting and killing a Camp Lejeune Marine after an altercation at a get-together.

District Attorney Ernie Lee told NewsChannel 12 that Marcus Hunt pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in the shooting death of 21-year-old Randall Buford in late 2012.

Hunt's former neighbor, Loise Perdomo, says she remembers hearing the gunshots.

"It sounded like firecrackers," Perdomo said. "I heard two of them. A Marine died, and he'll go to jail for what he did. My heart goes out to the family that lost their son."

Hunt will serve between 23 years to 28 years and eight months in prison.

According to prosecutors, Hunt was having a get-together at his home at Liberty Crossing Apartments, off Carmen Avenue in Jacksonville, on Dec. 14, 2012.

Hunt eventually wanted to go to bed, but Buford wanted to keep the get-together going.

Prosecuting attorney Kelly Neal says Hunt grabbed one of his guns and fired out on the patio. He says Buford wanted to stay and talk things out, so he didn't leave.

This led to an altercation. Neal says Hunt began punching Buford. Buford didn't fight back.

That's when Hunt went to get his 30-30 rifle.

"He knew it was unloaded at the time, made a show of loading it -- chamber to round -- pointed to weapon at Mr. Buford, and then in essence, pulled the trigger," Neal said.

Neal says Hunt then tried to help Buford with a medical kit he had.

"When that didn't work, he kind of went to plan B and tried to stage it as Mr. Buford had shot himself," Neal said.

Neal says that after the guilty plea, Hunt apologized to the victim's family for his actions. Hunt had been friends with Buford for quite a while, and he says it was bad judgment that cost his friend's life.

Alcohol was a factor in the fatal shooting, investigators said. Base officials say Hunt has been discharged from the Marine Corps.

Hunt was serving as a lance corporal at Camp Lejeune at the time of the murder.