PORTLAND (AP) – A Portland man who was freed after a murder charge was dropped says he regrets the fatal shooting but says it was “either him or me.”

Randal Philips tells WGME-TV that he didn’t know the victim, one of two men he accused of breaking into his apartment and holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head.

Philips says he grabbed his rifle after the two men left with $150 and went outside hoping to get a glimpse of a license plate number. Instead, he ran into 25-year-old Lashawn Covington and says the man was about to shoot him, so he pulled the trigger.

As part of the plea agreement, Phillips was sentenced Tuesday to 55 days in jail, the amount of time he has already served.

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