A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 28 to 56 years in prison after he was convicted of suffocating his girlfriend by sitting on her head in 2012.
Benjamin Klinger, 21, suffocated his girlfriend, 17-year-old Samantha Heller after deliberately crashing her car at an estimated 115 mph. Investigators found no sign of braking, Lancaster Online reported.
Authorities said Klinger was physically and verbally abusive of Heller throughout their relationship. On Dec. 4, 2012, he intentionally sped into a guardrail near Manheim, prosecutors said.
Heller initially survived the wreck.
A truck driver at the scene says he heard Heller hanging out of the window and yelling “Get off me!” He was told by 911, however, not to move the crash victims.
When policed arrive Klinger was sitting on Heller’s head and torso, the arrest affidavit states.
“Klinger was observed by the officers to be what appeared as 'slipping in and out of consciousness,' because he would close his eyes for several seconds, moan, and then reopen his eyes while continuing to be positioned on top of the victim's head and torso while the victim was face down,” police said.
Reviewing medical records, investigators concluded that Klinger was pretending to be unconscious on top of the victim.
"I want you to have nothing else to do (in prison) but think about how you took her life and destroyed ours," Heller’s mother Sandy McFalls read a statement to Lancaster County Judge Margaret Miller in court.
McFalls said the loss of daughter has broken her heart and made her “a prisoner in my house.”
"I'm so sorry. Sorry,” a tearful Klinger said addressing the court on Friday.
"Today is the first day I've seen any degree of humanity or emotion in you,” said Judge Miller.
"There is no doubt in my mind you lived your life with a callousness, arrogance and a cowardliness, frankly," Miller said, "because being a bully is a coward."
"You treated (Heller) like an object, and when that object became an inconvenience, the object was removed from your path," she added.
Miller said she hopes Klinger uses his long jail sentence to come out a changed man.
Klinger was sentenced to 23 to 46 years for third-degree murder and homicide by vehicle. Three to six years were added for sending sexually explicit photos via SMS of himself engaging in sex acts with a minor in July 2012. Two to four years were added for a $30 drug deal involving an undercover police officer back in August 2012.
Image source: MySpace