LEXINGTON A man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for shooting and killing the father of his estranged wife at a shopping mall in Columbia nearly four years ago.

The State newspaper reported that 25-year-old Michael James Young Jr. pleaded guilty to murder in Lexington earlier this week.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Robert Lynn Bell of Gaston died when he was shot several times on June 13, 2007, as he tried to protect his daughter from Young.

Shaunna Bell survived. She said her ex-husband had been stalking her, including at her job at Columbiana Centre Mall.

Defense attorney John Delgado says Young has accepted responsibility for the shooting and expressed his remorse on a number of occasions.

Prosecutors dropped charges of stalking, telephone harassment, forgery and a weapons violation.