Published: Aug 11, 2010 3:46 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 11, 2010 12:46 PM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida man has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for fatally stabbing a homeless man in Ocoee last year.

An Orange County judge sentenced 20-year-old John Hawthorne Tuesday. He was convicted of second-degree murder in July for the death of Joel Boner. Hawthorne could have received a life sentence.

Authorities say Hawthorne and a friend were riding an ATV in Ocoee when they found the homeless man's camp on private property.

Hawthorne's friend said Hawthorne began to follow Boner before engaging in a fight, but Hawthorne testified that the man attacked him.

The friend said he had to knock Boner off Hawthorne, who then stabbed Boner many times with his pocket knife.

Hawthorne is planning to appeal the sentence.