Man sentenced to 20 to 40 years in November murder of former friend in suburban Philadelphia


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WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania — A man has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years after pleading guilty to killing a former friend and hiding his body in a sleeping bag last fall.

Twenty-four-year-old Merritt Dudas of Malvern pleaded guilty Friday in Chester County Court to third-degree murder in the November death of 21-year-old Drew Ferguson.

Asked by a judge repeatedly why he committed the murder, Dudas only repeated over and over that he wished that day had never happened.

Authorities found the victim's body in a sleeping bag on the second floor of his garage in Malvern. They said they recovered the gun, the victim's car and other belongings at a Collegeville home where Dudas was staying.

Dudas was also sentenced to 1½ to three years for violating probation in a previous burglary case.

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