CASSOPOLIS, Mich. — An Indiana man who pleaded guilty to killing his cousin in 1977 in southwestern Michigan has been sentenced to 12 to 18 years in prison.

Cass Circuit Judge Mark Herman sentenced 58-year-old Raymond Richmond on Friday after accepting the agreement in which the South Bend man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

The shooting death of 25-year-old Robert Stasiak in Edwardsburg initially was deemed a suicide, but the investigation was reopened in 2015 and Stasiak’s body exhumed for an autopsy. Richmond, who was 18 at the time of Stasiak’s death, was charged last year.

Authorities have said they believe Richmond fatally shot Stasiak for flushing the defendant’s marijuana down a toilet.

Richmond apologized in court for his actions.

Stasiak’s widow, Kathy Hamburger, says her daughter blamed her for the suspected suicide.

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