Man convicted of 1st-degree murder in girlfriend’s slaying

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the strangulation death of his girlfriend in eastern Pennsylvania last year.

Jurors in Lehigh County deliberated for about six hours before convicting 26-year-old Anthony Heath in the January 2014 slaying of 35-year-old Angela Steigerwalt.

Prosecutors said Heath strangled the victim with a television cord in a fit of rage because she reneged on plans to go with him to a child custody hearing. Authorities said he then burned her body in a neighboring county and fled to North Carolina.

Heath, who represented himself, said the death occurred accidentally during sex, and he then panicked, disposed of the body and fled.

He rejected a plea offer of a 28- to 56-year prison term for pleading guilty but mentally ill to third-degree murder.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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