WILLINGBORO — A man who pleaded guilty for killing a convenience store clerk will spend more than 20 years in jail, but prosecutors wanted the repeat offender to spend more time behind bars.

Erasmus Canty was sentenced to 24 years in jail for his role in fatally shooting Matthew Mwinsori after robbing the Quick N Go in 2015. Canty had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter after admitting that he had shot the clerk who chased him into the parking lot after robbing the store.

"Matthew Mwinsori was so incensed by the defendant's disregard for the law he pursued him in an attempt to recover the money that had been stolen at gunpoint," Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. "His valor cost him his life."

Coffina said the two men could not have been more different, describing Mwinsori as a "friendly, honorable man who worked two jobs and sent money back home to his family in Ghana." The prosecutor, meanwhile, described Canty as "a greedy predator who has 16 juvenile arrests and was convicted of committing four indictable crimes by age 31."

Among Canty's prior convictions was another robbery, which Coffina described as "eerily similar to this one."

As part of his plea deal it was agreed that Superior Court Judge Philip E. Haines would determine the length of his sentence after there was no agreement with Coffina's office about a sentence. While Canty will be required to spend the next two decades behind bars, Coffina said it should have been longer than that.

"He deserved the 30-year sentence we argued for and we are disappointed that the court, despite finding a likelihood that the defendant will commit future crimes, handed down a sentence of which he likely will serve just over 20 years," Coffina said, adding that Mwinsori "deserves better."

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