Kansas man gets life term in cheerleader’s murder

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who killed a 14-year-old cheerleader and burned her body at the asphalt plant where he worked was sentenced Tuesday to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Adam Longoria, 38, was formally sentenced to life imprisonment without the chance of parole for the murder of Alicia DeBolt.

She was last seen leaving her home in Great Bend for a party just before midnight on Aug. 21, 2010. Text messages prosecutors showed jurors during the trial showed Longoria picked Alicia up that night. He had started pursuing the girl after meeting her at a party the month before. Her family reported her missing the next day, and her body was found three days later at the Venture Corp. plant where Longoria worked.

“She was a little girl that was manipulated and abused and murdered by a man who knows better,” prosecutor Kevin O’Connor said at the sentencing.

Barton County Judge Hannelore Kitts had little leeway in deciding Longoria’s punishment because a capital murder conviction in Kansas carries a mandatory sentence of at least life without parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

Longoria did not attend the sentencing.

“He is too big of a coward to face us today,” Dawn DeBolt, the victim’s stepsister, told the court.

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