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Man who hid murdered woman in closet in garbage bag gets life in prison

Updated: Monday, June 30 2014, 03:23 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. - A man charged with murder and concealment of a deceased human body was sentenced to life in prison with mercy after entering a guilty plea Monday to robbery and a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection to death of Tonia Garan.
Becuase of that ruling, Leslie Craig Arnold will have the possibility of parole afer 20 years.
Arnold Jr.'s  charges stemmed from an investigation of an armed robbery that eventually led to the discovery of Garan's body wrapped inside garbage bags in a bedroom closet at the Overbook Towers in Weirton in January.
Tonia's family said Arnold gave them "false hope" by using her phone to text them, indicating that she was alive after she was killed.
"I believe the actions after the murder were actually worse, if that's possible, than the alleged murder itself," Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Martin Gaughan said.
Arnold admitted to the robbery and the death, but gave police an excuse as to how it happened.
A medical examiner found that Garan died of asphyxiation by strangulation.

 

PHOTO: A member of Tonia's family reads a victim impact statement. Arnold is not looking at the family, but at the ground.

Man who hid murdered woman in closet in garbage bag gets life in prison


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