WASHINGTON — A man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed in the slaying of a man in a park has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mark Coates of Washington was sentenced Monday in Superior Court in Washington in the death of 56-year-old Leroy Studevant.

According to government evidence, on Dec. 30, 2011, Coates and an accomplice forced Studevant into Marvin Gaye Park in Northeast Washington, where they punched and kicked him. Studevant broke free and ran across the park, but Coates and the accomplice caught him.

Prosecutors say Coates stabbed Studevant with a knife, then choked Studevant with his belt. He was found unconscious near a creek and later pronounced dead.

Coates and the accomplice split money they took from Studevant’s wallet.

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