'Breaking Bad' namesake meth dealer gets 12 years' jail

LOS ANGELES - A US judge has sentenced meth dealer Walter White to 12 years in prison, in a case of life mirroring art a few months after the end of cult TV show "Breaking Bad," local media reported.

The real-life Montana dealer - whose TV namesake died at the climax of "Breaking Bad" in September - was shot by his own son in an argument over a drug debt, according to the Billings Gazette.

On Monday, US District Judge Donald Molloy jailed White for 12.5 years for possessing and distributing meth and weapons charges, the newspaper reported.

"Thirty-two and a half pounds of methamphetamine coupled with guns and violence is about as serious as you can get," it quoted the judge as saying.

White, 53 - one year older than the "Breaking Bad" anti-hero when he died - told the court he became a drug dealer after becoming addicted to meth. When he tried to avoid selling it, suppliers threatened him, the paper said.

He was arrested in March. His son Brandon has been charged with armed assault and jailed on US$150,000 (S$189,000) bond, after telling police he shot his father in the back in January over a US$10,000 debt.

"Breaking Bad," centred on chemistry teacher turned druglord Walter White played by Bryan Cranston, ended in September after its fifth and final season. It won best drama a week earlier at the Emmys, television's Oscars.

The much-anticipated final episode drew the cult TV show's largest ever audience - 10.3 million viewers - as well as more than 500,000 illegal downloads.