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Man sentenced to life term plus 8 to 16 years in strangulation death of girlfriend


ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania — An eastern Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to life in prison plus eight to 16 years in the strangulation death of his girlfriend last year.

Twenty-six-year-old Anthony Heath of Allentown was convicted in Lehigh County last month of first-degree murder in the January 2014 death of 35-year-old Angela Steigerwalt.

The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that Judge Kelly Banach on Wednesday called him "a total smudge on the community."

Prosecutors said Heath strangled the victim with a television cord in a fit of rage because she reneged on plans to go with him to a child custody hearing, then burned her body in a neighboring county and fled to North Carolina.

Heath called the death accidental. He represented himself and rejected a plea deal calling for a 28- to 56-year prison term.

This version corrects sentence to life plus eight to 16 years rather than life plus 16 years.

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