BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A central Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for strangling his live-in girlfriend.
Prosecutors say 34-year-old Donald Failey Jr. had been out of work and stealing money from his girlfriend to buy cocaine in 2011 when an argument turned deadly. Prosecutors say he squeezed Tara Romonoski's neck with his hands and covered her head with a garbage bag secured by duct tape.
The Ledger of Lakeland reports jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday after less than two hours of deliberation.
Prosecutors insisted Failey's act was premeditated, but his lawyers argued that Failey snapped in the heat of the argument and said there was no evidence of planning or time to reflect on his actions.
Prosecutors said scratches on Romonoski's neck indicate she fought back.