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WJBD - Local News - Ill. Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Arizona Killing

Ill. Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Arizona Killing

PHOENIX (AP) - An Illinois man has been sentenced to life in prison for his conviction in the 1988 murder of the night manager for a pizza restaurant in the desert north of Phoenix.

Steven Michael Humelhans, of Roscoe, was given a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole on Monday after serving 25 years for his first-degree murder conviction in the March 1988 death of 25-year-old Eric Rice.

Authorities say Humelhans was first charged in Rice's death in 1996, but the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence. 

The investigation into Rice's murder had grown cold until police said a witness provided new evidence that led to him being charged. A Maricopa County jury convicted Humelhans in a 15-day trial that ended in June.

Humelhans has maintained his innocence.

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