WACO, Texas — Prosecutors say a Central Texas man who told investigators that his ex-girlfriend killed herself must serve life in prison for the 2014 slaying.

David Zahirniak (zuh-HAR’-nee-ahk) was sentenced Tuesday in Waco. The 45-year-old man from West was convicted Monday of murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Caitlyn Reed.

Prosecutor Hilary LaBorde described Zahirniak as a predator who battered previous girlfriends and also Reed, leading to the victim’s April 2014 slaying.

Investigators initially thought the woman took her own life at her home in West, based on statements from Zahirniak, then later charged him with murder.