ELIZABETH, NJ - A city man was sentenced for a fatal shooting in a robbery gone wrong that occurred in Linden, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced yesterday in a statement.

James Gilford, 22, was sentenced Friday morning to 24 years in state prison. A state Superior Court judge ordered Gilford to serve at least 20 years and four months of his term before the possibility of parole under the state’s No Early Release Act.

On June 25, 2015, police found 37-year-old James Garner suffering from gunshot wounds in an apartment on the 300 block of East Price Street in Linden around 11:20 p.m. Garner was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to the prosecutor of the case.

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Gilford and Aziz Howard, 37, were identified as suspects and arrested in July 2015 after a joint-department investigation involving Linden police and county authorities. 

Gilford and Howard each pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter in May this year. Howard is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 18.