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Texan gets 70 years for strangling girlfriend with shoelace

July 13, 2018

BAIRD, Texas (AP) — A West Texas man convicted of using a shoelace to strangle his girlfriend has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.

Justin Bennett of Abilene was convicted Thursday of murder in the January 2017 death of Meagan Dearman. Authorities say her body was discovered in a lake in Baird, with the shoelace still around her neck, after relatives reported her missing.

The Callahan County jury on Friday returned the prison sentence for Bennett in what prosecutors say was a drug-related case involving a money dispute.

Prosecutors say another woman that the 34-year-old Bennett was also dating awaits trial on a charge of tampering with evidence in the case.

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