ST. CLOUD -- A Howard Lake man has been sentenced for his role in a St. Cloud drug deal gone bad, that left another man with a gunshot wound to the head.

A Benton County Judge has sentenced 19-year-old Julian Hill to four years in prison. Hill pleaded guilty to the drive-by-shooting in October. As part of the plea agreement charges of reckless discharge of a gun and assault were dropped. He will get credit for time served.

According to the Benton County criminal complaint, Hill met the victim in an alley in the 400 block of Wilson Avenue Northeast on the night of April 23rd to exchange marijuana for cocaine. But, court records show the victim and his partner planned to rob Hill rather than exchange drugs.

Records show Hill told investigators that he met the victim and another man in the alley and handed over the pot and cash, but the men got out of the car and were leaving with his money and marijuana. Hill said he got out of the car and fired a gunshot toward the dark shadowy figure running away. He said he heard a man yell then he fled the scene in his car.

Police arrived to find a 9mm handgun and two bags of cocaine in the alley. The victim was found with a head wound nearby. A witness confirmed the robbery plans and that the victim owned a handgun like the one found in the alley.

Hill was arrested the following day on DWI charges in Meeker County and authorities found a gun on him.

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