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(NECN) - A Maine man has been sentenced to 45 years behind bars for killing his friend over an apparent drug debt.
Andrew Kierstead, 45, shot his long-time friend Richard Mills with a shotgun five times back in 2012.
In court Tuesday, the convicted killer told the judge that opiate addiction clouded his judgment and destroyed his life.
For the first time he apologized to the victim's family and encouraged other drug addicts to get help.
Kierstead said, "If there's anybody out there listening to this that has a problem with addiction, please from the bottom of my heart, seek out help. You do not have it under control. It is controlling you. If I'd only sought out help we would not be here trying to explain why Richard is gone."
Kierstead claimed that the victim was a drug dealer who got him hooked on drugs.
The victim's family said that was not true and that Kierstead took Mills life and ruined his reputation in the process.