2009-03-26 / Local & State

Man Who Said Victim Was Alive Gets Life

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Maryland man who told jurors that the woman he was accused of killing almost nine years ago was still alive has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder.

Jurors in January deliberated for about four hours before convicting 35-year-old Yeshtila Ameshe of first-degree murder and related offenses in the shooting death of his 60-yearold aunt, Haregewene Bitew. Authorities say she died in June 2000 while the two were visiting relatives in Towamencin Township, 20 miles north of Philadelphia.

Ameshe, of Adelphia, Md., testified through an interpreter in Montgomery County Court that the purported victim was "definitely alive.''

Montgomery County Judge S. Gerald Corso on Friday sentenced the defendant to a mandatory life term without parole.

Defense attorney Scott Krieger unsuccessfully argued that his client was insane at the time of the slaying.

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