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Dorchester man sentenced after admitting fatal shooting of Uphams Corner store clerk

A Dorchester man was sentenced Wednesday to up to 18 years in prison after he admitted fatally shooting a 71-year-old store clerk in Upham’s Corner in 2010

Onyx White, 23, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to manslaughter and armed robbery in the February 2010 slaying of Geraldo Serrano, who was gunned down inside Hermanos Unidos convenience store on Dudley Street in a crime that shocked the city for its senseless brutality.

One of Serrano’s nine children said in court that the family “has endured stress, depression, and sadness” and “watching our mom continue her life without her husband of 46 years has been difficult,” according to a statement from District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

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The plea on Wednesday came after a jury earlier this year failed to reach a verdict on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery but convicted White on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, Conley’s office said.

White’s lawyer, the well-known defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr., offered a measured response to the plea.

“This was a compromise following a hung jury on a murder charge,” Carney said. “My client wanted his life back and could be released [with credit for time served] before he turns 30.”

According to prosecutors, White and a co-defendant, Martin Freeles, entered the store and demanded cash. Another clerk complied, but Serrano, who had emerged from the back of the store, fought back.

White fired two shots and struck Serrano once, killing him, Conley’s office said.

Freeles previously pleaded guilty to related charges and is serving a 15-year prison term.

“For more than seven years, Mr. Serrano’s loved ones have borne the burden of grief with tremendous dignity,” Conley said in the statement. “They can never close the book on their loss, but I hope the defendants’ unequivocal admissions of responsibility can at least help them end this chapter. They inspired us with their strength and grace, and we will always be there to support them.”

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.