New Jersey

NJ Man Sentenced to 106 Years in Murder of Elderly Neighbor

A New Jersey man has been sentenced to 106 years in prison in the murder of an elderly neighbor.

Applause broke out after 53-year-old Jeffrey Harley was sentenced to what amounts to life plus 31 years, reports. Prosecutors said he will have to serve at least 85 percent of the life term - 63 years - before being eligible for parole.

Prosecutors said Harley choked, stabbed and slashed 81-year-old Lucila Cardenas-Viejo, severing her carotid artery, in her Jersey City apartment in February 2016. Authorities said the victim had paid him to shovel snow in the past.

Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez described the victim's 30-minute ordeal as brutal violence on a defenseless victim extending "to the extreme reaches of human behavior."

Harley declined to speak before sentencing.

Prosecutors had said in closing arguments that Harley committed the crimes on the same day his ex-girlfriend posted a photo of herself online with her new boyfriend.

Harley then used proceeds of the crime to take his ex-girlfriend out on the town, prosecutors said. 

Defense attorney Jonathan Gordon argued that his client had money and a job, wasn't linked to the crime by DNA, and there was no evidence that he knew the victim had money.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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