PHOENIX — A Russian man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in Phoenix two years ago has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Igor Zubko was sentenced Friday for first-degree murder.

The 27-year-old Zubko requested a plea agreement to serve a life prison term to avoid the death penalty.

He originally planned to represent himself at his 2016 trial.

Zubko was accused of killing 22-year-old Shayley Estes. The Arizona State University student was found dead from gunshot wounds inside her home in July 2015.

Zubko was arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after he bought a one-way plane ticket to San Francisco.

Court records show Zubko’s relationship with Estes ended in June 2015 and she obtained an order of protection against him shortly thereafter.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.