Man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Cheektowaga man pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend Monday by strangling her and setting her body on fire, according to acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. 

Thomas Murphy, 59, pleaded guilty to first-degree Manslaughter and second-degree Arson before Erie County Court Judge Thomas Franczyk. 

Between April 22 and April 24, 2015, Murphy admitted he fatally strangled his girlfriend Jean Hartwig, 64, while they were inside their home at the Williamstowne Senior Apartments. He then set her body on fire inside a bedroom. 

Murphy was sent to jail without bail. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison. Judge Franczyk will deliver his sentence Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m. 

 


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