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Man sentenced to prison for killing girlfriend

By: WJAC Web Staff

SOMERSET, Pa. -- The man who killed his estranged girlfriend and left her body buried in a shallow grave in a remote area of Somerset County was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

A Somerset County judge sentenced Jonathan Beal, 24, to serve 10-years to 24-years in a state prison for killing Justine Jackson, 19, of Meyersdale, in September 2012.

Beal pleaded guilty in September to voluntary manslaughter and admitted to strangling Jackson after an argument and burying her body along the Great Allegheny Passage trail outside of Meyersdale.

Jacksons remains were discovered in mid-November, nearly two months after Beal admitted to killing her.

After Jacksons remains were found, Beal was found to be hiding in a home in New Orleans.

At the plea hearing, Beals attorney maintained that Beal didnt mean to kill Jackson during the argument. The two had been arguing about whether to resume their relationship.

Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasier said her office agreed to the plea to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter because they werent sure if they could prove Beal intended to kill Jackson.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times