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DULUTH – 18-year-old Enrique Giner waived his right to a jury and trial Friday to plead guilty to second-degree murder.Giner told the courtroom that from March 8 to 9, he and a friend went to visit 27-year-old Bryan Starnes at his home.
They were drinking and Giner was smoking marijuana.
Giner's friend left, leaving him and Starnes at the house.
Giner says things turned left when Starnes inappropriately touched him in the basement.
Giner pushed him, and the two began to fight.
Giner claims after the fight was over, Starnes went upstairs and came back down to the basement with a hammer.
Giner then grabbed a pocket knife and the both of them began to fight again.
Giner says he wrestled the hammer away from Starnes and hit him with the hammer 57 times.
Giner says he then took Starnes' backpack and filled it with a hookah pipe a play station console and other property.
Starnes died from a wound given to his neck.
Giner was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison Friday.
Starnes mother, Pauline Starnes, took the stand saying, "I wonder if he suffered pain.” "Everyday on his birthday instead of calling him on the phone I have to go visit him at his grave.” “Parents should never have to bury their children."
Giner then read a statement to Starnes' family: "I want to apologize to you and your family for the mistakes I made." “I'm just so sorry for the pain I have caused you and your family.
Giner is eligible for parole after serving 17 years in prison.
Kenneth Johnson, 33, is facing charges for aiding Giner.
Johnson is the boyfriend of Giner's mother.