MILFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut man who killed a 7-year-old girl in West Haven has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release, after a state prosecutor declined to seek the death penalty.

Milford Superior Court Judge Richard Arnold imposed two life sentences Friday on 34-year-old John Billingslea, who pleaded guilty to capital felony and murder earlier this month in the April 2009 rape and asphyxiation of Ariana Uberti.

The New Haven Register reports  the sentencing came after Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor decided against seeking the death penalty, which would have required a trial. Lawlor said he considered several factors, including that the girl’s family wanted to avoid a lengthy trial.

Authorities say Billingslea was a neighbor of Ariana and killed her while babysitting her.

Information from: New Haven Register,

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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