SALT LAKE CITY — A 20-year-old Utah man has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to the brutal killing of his brother’s girlfriend in West Valley City.

Police say Justin Cade VanCleave strangled and stabbed 33-year-old Amanda Rose Garcia more than 40 times in May 2016.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports a close friend of the victim told VanCleave during Monday’s sentencing in Salt Lake City that he’s “a monster” who should be locked away forever.

VanCleave’s lawyer, Heidi Buchi, said he was high on methamphetamines and hadn’t slept for five days.

VanCleave testified at the hearing that he’s “not a monster.” He admitted what he did was wrong and said he deserved to be punished. But he said he also deserved a chance to be released from prison someday to be with his family and friends.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

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