TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County man will be spending the rest of his life in prison after being convicted in the murder of a 17-year-old Bartow boy, according to prosecutors.

The State Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit put out a statement Thursday saying that Cordell Williams, 23, was convicted for the murder of 17-year-old Joseph Malcolm White.

Williams murdered Joseph in 2019 in a gang-related hit to “improve his status in his gang,” the attorney’s office said.

“He thought that by executing 17-year-old, Joseph Malcolm White, just outside his home on Golfview Avenue in Bartow, he would strengthen his credibility within the gang,” the statement said.

Authorities said Williams lured the teenager out of his apartment and shot him in the neck, leaving him to die. First responders found the teenager and tried to revive him, but Joseph died from his injury.

He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison this week.

“Williams not only took the life of his victim, but ruined his own life as well,” the statement said.