An Akron man didn’t wield the knife that killed his friend, but he is going to prison for the death.

Prosecutors say Kesean Brown was with Decarlos Abdul Powe Jr. last October when Powe took the window air conditioner out of a Firestone Park apartment to break in. A man inside the apartment stabbed Powe and he later died.

Police charged Brown with murder because someone died in the commission of a felony — in this case, burglary. They opted not to charge the man who did the stabbing because of Ohio’s castle doctrine, which allows homeowners to use deadly force to defend themselves against an intruder.

Brown, 25, was scheduled to go on trial Monday, but instead pleaded guilty under an agreement with prosecutors to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated burglary.

Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi and John Greven, Brown’s attorney, said they agreed to an eight-year prison sentence. With the original charges against him, Brown faced up to life in prison.

Powe’s grandmother, who declined to give her name to a Beacon Journal reporter, said during the sentencing that the family has been devastated by Powe’s death and still doesn’t understand what happened. Regardless, she said, his death was avoidable.

“I hope this can be a learning lesson for all families around,” said the grandmother, who wore a T-shirt with a photograph of her grandson. “For everybody to be strong, believe in God and just know: You have to do the right thing. Please, everybody in the world, just try to do the right thing.”

She said eight years “would never be enough” to make up for the loss of her grandson.

LoPrinzi said the Powe family wasn’t satisfied with the agreed-upon sentence, but he explained to them the risks of taking the case to trial, especially considering the unusual facts.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands told the Powe family, several who cried and comforted each other in the courtroom, that the plea agreement spared them from a trial and a potential appeal, both with uncertain outcomes.

Brown apologized for what happened and said, “I wish it could have been different.”

Rowlands sentenced Brown for both the involuntary manslaughter and burglary charges, with the prison terms to be concurrent, for a total of eight years.

Greven said after the sentencing that Brown and Powe were friends who smoked marijuana together and went to the apartment so that Powe could buy some pot. When no one answered the door, he said, they decided to break in by removing the air conditioner to steal the marijuana.

After Powe was stabbed, the two men fled in a vehicle to Blanche Street where they called paramedics. Powe was taken to Cleveland Clinic Akron General, where he later died.

Greven said his client was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but never intended for anyone to get hurt.

“Nothing Brown did had anything to do with Powe dying,” he said. “He was just with him.”

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.