Michael Lee Franklin (Source: Tempe Police Department)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5/AP) -
A man charged with brutally killing a Tempe woman in 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Wednesday that 35-year-old Michael Lee Franklin will not be eligible for parole.
The sentence was imposed as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors wouldn't seek the death penalty. In exchange for pleading guilty to murder, prosecutors also dropped kidnapping and burglary charges.
Tempe police say 64-year-old Bonnie Raudman was found dead in her home on Sept. 30, 2011 from blunt force injuries to her neck.
Police say Franklin, who had previously stolen prescription drugs from Raudman, was linked to the crime through fingerprints found on items from the home.
Franklin was also accused of forcing Raudman to go to an ATM and make a withdrawal.
Raudman's 2010 Hyundai Elantra was missing from the garage and later recovered about a mile away from her home, officers said.
Several items taken from the home were found in a dumpster near Franklin's residence. The subsequent investigation led to a search warrant that was served at Franklin's home, where officers said he was taken into custody.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
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