DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to a minimum of 5 ½ years in prison for fatally beating his friend over spilled beer and trying to convince his girlfriend to lie about it.

The Patriot Ledger reports that Joseph Cotto-Berrio was sentenced after pleading guilty to manslaughter and witness intimidation.

Police say in October 2017, the 29-year-old Cotto-Berrio repeatedly punched 32-year-old Brian Bubanas in the face and head as he lay in bed in a Quincy apartment during an argument over spilled beer.

Authorities say Cotto-Berrio's girlfriend broke up the fight, but Bubanas collapsed and stopped breathing. Cotto-Berrio called 911 an hour later. Bubanas died at the hospital.

Police say Cotto-Berrio called his girlfriend from jail using another inmate's phone account and attempted to persuade her to change her story.

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Information from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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