CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man has been sentenced to decades in prison after pleading guilty in the murder of a Pennsylvania native found in a burning North Carolina apartment almost two years ago.
The Charlotte Observer reports that 30-year-old Matthew Thomas Benner pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder, arson and malicious damage to occupied property with an incendiary device in the June 2016 death of 27-year-old Amanda Strous.
Superior Court Judge Robert Bell sentenced him to about 38 to 49 years in prison, saying the “especially heinous, atrocious and cruel” nature of the offense was among the factors in sentencing.
Bell said he wished he had known the Dallastown native, who was to be married in six weeks when she was killed by Benner, a neighbor. Benner’s attorney said he was “extremely sorry.”