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Life Sentence In Home Invasion Rape And Murder

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(File Photo: AP Photo/APTN)

(File Photo: AP Photo/APTN)

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A man who sexually assaulted and killed a woman and shot her friend in the head in 2008 home invasion in New Britain was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of release.

Leslie Williams, 35, avoided the possibility of the death penalty when he pleaded guilty in December to capital felony, assault and attempted escape from custody. He was sentenced in New Britain Superior Court.

The former Waterbury resident barged into 66-year-old Carol Larese’s New Britain home on March 30, 2008, looking to steal money and a car, authorities said.

He forced Larese and her friend, 61-year-old Mary Ellen Welsh, into the basement, where he shot Larese in the head and sexually assaulted Welsh. He then abducted Welsh. Larese survived and later told police she had played dead after being shot.

Larese faced her attacker in court and said he is “Satan.”

“I hope every day as you sit in prison that you have to watch your back, living in fear that someday that someone will kill you, and at your last breath that you will think of Mary Ellen and how you took her last breath away from her,” Larese said in remarks reported by The Hartford Courant. “Your nightmare might be over because I truly believe that you are Satan, and that you should and will die in prison.”

Williams was arrested the day of the crime when he crashed Welsh’s car about 25 miles away in Watertown after a police chase. The next morning, Welsh’s body was found in a wooded area in Bristol.

Williams had been released from prison only four weeks earlier after serving eight years for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.

The case sparked comparisons with a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007, when two paroled burglars now sentenced to death killed a woman and her two daughters, ages 11 and 17. Both Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes wanted to plead guilty before their trials, but prosecutors refused.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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