MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A Minneapolis man who stabbed his lover to death with a steak knife and then left her little girl to starve to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

James Thomas, 32, received the life sentence Tuesday in the 1994 death of 14-month-old Reneshia Featherson. He received another 25 1/2 years for killing her mother, Tina D. Simmons, 20.

Thomas told police he stabbed Simmons' neck and wrist after they had sex and she threatened to tell his girlfriend about the affair unless he gave her $250.

Thomas told police he returned to Simmons' apartment the next day and gave the toddler a bottle to quiet her. He never returned.

The victims' bodies were found two weeks later when neighbors noticed the smell coming from the apartment. The toddler's corpse was found on the floor next to her mother's bed.

The deaths went unsolved for three years until Thomas' girlfriend told police of his involvement. He was found guilty in January of first- and second-degree murder.