MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a fatal dispute over stolen property.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Ernesto Rivera agreed to plead guilty Monday to the lower charge to avoid a possible life sentence. The agreement calls for the 41-year-old Rivera to be sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison.

Rivera was indicted by a Hennepin County grand jury for first-degree murder in the death of 46-year-old Michael Rekow last September. Minnesota Public Radio News says jury selection was to have started Monday.

Rekow’s girlfriend, who was with him in a car, says Rivera fired at Rekow several times as they tried to drive away from an argument over stolen property.

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