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Mexican national gets life in student's slaying

A Mexican national has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and strangling a Texas college student and setting her body on fire.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 08:36 IST

A Mexican national has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and strangling a Texas college student and setting her body on fire.

Ernesto Reyes, 21, was convicted Friday of capital murder. He received an automatic life sentence in the 2007 killing of 19-year-old Melanie Goodwin, who was in her second year at the University of North Texas.

Goodwin was found dead behind an office building in a Dallas suburb.

Reyes, a Mexican immigrant who was in the United States legally, fled to his homeland after the killing. U.S. marshals arrested him a month later.

Mexican authorities agreed to release Reyes to Texas prosecutors only if they pledged not to seek the death penalty. The defense called no witnesses at the trial.