LIBBY, Mont. — A 43-year-old northwestern Montana man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend in Libby.

Trevor Mercier was convicted of deliberate homicide in August in the October 2016 beating and strangling death of 30-year-old Sheena Devine. Prosecutors say her two young daughters found her body.

The Western News reports District Judge Matt Cuffee sentenced Mercier on Tuesday, saying anyone who reacts to a breakup with violence is a danger to society.

Mercier’s defense argued that he caused Devine’s death, but did not intend to and should have been charged with negligent homicide. He said he put her into a “sleeper hold” during an argument, rendering her unconscious.

A coroner testified it takes about 10 to 15 seconds in a sleeper hold for someone to lose consciousness, but three to five minutes for them to die.

Information from: The Western News,

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