PORTLAND — A city man convicted of murdering a once close friend was sentenced today in Cumberland County Superior Court to 38 years in prison.

A jury in July found 25-year-old Daudoit Butsitsi guilty in the fatal shooting of Serge Mulongo. Butsitsi had shot Mulongo, 24, in the entryway of their Parkside apartment building last year. Murder carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

The prosecution argued that Butsitsi ambushed Mulongo on the night of Feb. 10, 2010 in retaliation for earlier acts of disrespect. Earlier that day, the two had fought in their apartment and later, on the street, Mulongo punched Butsitsi through the open window of a car.

The defense maintained Butsitsi went to the building to retrieve his belongings and was armed because he was worried about Mulongo’s violent nature. Butsitsi had testified that he fired when he thought he saw a gun in Mulongo’s hand. No gun was found on the Mulongo’s body, but he was holding a glass pipe.

Moses Okot, the accused driver of the getaway car, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of felony murder before Butsitsi’s trial. Okot, 23, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended.