A Spartanburg man was sentenced to 50 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted of attacking a walker at Milliken Park last year.
Investigators said that the victim was walking her dog in the Spartanburg-area park Oct. 31, 2011, when she was approached by 46-year-old Walter Lance, of Spartanburg. They said Lance petted the dog to see if it was friendly and then dragged the woman into the woods, threatened to kill her and assaulted her.
Investigators said Lance then stole the woman's SUV, which was later found in a parking lot off Sibley Street. They said the keys were in the vehicle's ignition, and the woman's purse was empty.
The next morning, Lance was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and grand larceny greater than $10,000.
On Monday, the victim took the stand and described what happened to the jury.
"I was scared and said, 'Oh! My God!'" the woman said. "He started choking me and I screamed and he said, 'If you keep screaming, I will shoot you in your head.'"
On Tuesday, the jury found Lance guilty of assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct, common-law robbery and kidnapping.
Solicitor Barry Barnette said he's pleased with the sentence because Lance will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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