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Gang member sentenced in slaying of colleague

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A North Carolina man is headed to prison for his role in the death of a New Jersey street gang member who authorities say was killed because a gang leader thought he had told police about a robbery the leader committed.

Ocean County prosecutors claim 37-year-old Dennis Thigpen of Robersonville fatally shot 19-year-old Anthony Skyers in 2008. Thigpen was convicted of conspiracy in the slaying, but three murder trials all ended in hung juries.

Thigpen received a 17-year sentence on Friday and must serve 85 percent of that term before he becomes eligible for parole.

Dyshon Ragland, the gang leader who ordered the slaying of Skyers, was convicted on numerous charges, including armed robbery, murder, conspiracy, witness tampering and aggravated assault. He’s now serving a lengthy state prison term.