Benzler, who is now 21 years old, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter on July 24. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen H. Sumner sentenced him on the day of his plea to 17 years and four months in state prison. The sentence included Benzler’s conviction at trial for assault with a deadly weapon on another man.
Benzler and co-defendant Marquis Young, 32, were accused in the April 17, 2011, killing of Fowler, 29, outside a south Sacramento nightclub. Jurors in June acquitted them of first-degree murder charges but could not reach a verdict on second-degree murder.
Young later pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, was sentenced to the three years he had already spent in custody and was released from jail.