Cory Bewley stabbed Dywan Williams after Williams refused to buy a watered-down bottle of vodka from Bewley.
Hit on the head during the dispute over the vodka, Bewley went into an apartment, grabbed a knife, walked out and plunged it into Williams' chest.
Williams, 37, died soon after the May 2012 dispute near the Jackson Tower Apartments at 27th Street and St. Mary's Avenue.
A Douglas County district judge on Tuesday sentenced Bewley to 40 to 60 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Under state sentencing guidelines — which cut most sentences in half — Bewley, 36, will spend the next 20 to 30 years in prison.
Bewley also stabbed Williams' brother, Antwon Williams, then 31. The younger Williams survived despite suffering a collapsed lung.
Outside the courtroom, several of Williams' relatives grumbled that Bewley should have gotten a life sentence from District Judge James Gleason.
Dywan Williams left behind more than a dozen children, authorities say.
Before sentencing, Bewley tried to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he acted in self-defense.
His attorney, Ed Wintroub, conceded that Bewley, after the initial brawl over the vodka, retreated to his apartment and emerged with a knife.
“Out of concern that another confrontation might result, since the people had initially given him a severe beating, he did carry a knife for the purpose of self-protection, but not for purpose of aggression,” Wintroub said.
Prosecutor Shawn Hagerty said Bewley had no other motivation but to exact revenge on Williams.