updated 9/13/2009 5:55:15 AM ET 2009-09-13T09:55:15

Breaking his silence in the case, a 58-year-old man has confessed to killing a fellow Brigham Young University student 35 years ago.

Gerald Hicker said Friday that he fatally shot 21-year-old Barbara Rocky in 1974 in Big Cottonwood Canyon because he was upset after she rejected his sexual advances and he feared she might shoot him first.

Hicker was sentenced to up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree felony manslaughter.

Under a plea agreement, Hicker was spared a lengthy prison sentence in exchange for explaining in court to Rocky's family why he killed her.

Hicker was arrested in 2007 after DNA linked him to the case.

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