A West Philadelphia maintenance man has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole in the rape and strangulation death of a Drexel University graduate student.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 58-year-old James Harris was convicted by a Common Pleas Court judge Wednesday after a nonjury trial in the July 2015 death of 27-year-old Jasmine Wright.
Judge Sandy Bird imposed the mandatory life term and added consecutive sentences totaling 30 to 60 years on rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and burglary counts.
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Authorities said he had recently been fired from the apartment complex where the victim lived.
Before he was sentenced, Harris denied that he was responsible. He waived his right to a jury trial in exchange for prosecutors not pursuing the death penalty.