updated 9/15/2009 6:14:03 AM ET 2009-09-15T10:14:03

A former Marine who served in Iraq has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a California man to collect money owed for a drug debt.

Former Cpl. Ramon Hernandez was sentenced Monday for shooting David Pettigrew, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Two other Camp Pendleton Marines gave Pettigrew a laptop computer in exchange for an ounce of cocaine, prosecutors said.

When the victim failed to give them the drugs, Anthony Vigeant and Trevor Landers recruited Hernandez to help collect the laptop.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to murder and two robbery counts and testified against them at trial.

Hernandez served two tours in Iraq and suffered severe brain injuries in a 2004 bombing.

More on: Iraq

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