A North Dakota man convicted of killing a Somali immigrant was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole.
Leron Howard, 35, was sentenced for the April 2011 death of 18-year-old Abdi Ali Ahmed, who was found dead in a road ditch near Spiritwood. Authorities say he had a head wound and stab wounds to his abdomen. A jury convicted Howard, of Jamestown, in August.
KOVC reported that Stutsman County State's Attorney Fritz Fregman, who prosecuted the case, said murder cases are always tough but he was glad Howard received the life sentence.
"It made me feel there is justice, but it doesn't make me feel good. We're glad we got the sentence we did and he'll be off the streets for a long time," he said.
Defense attorney Steve Mottinger had recommended a 20-year sentence to the judge.
"We had hoped that the judge would have considered the options we had presented. Obviously he did consider them. He decided differently. That's his job," Mottinger said after the sentence came down.
The Jamestown Sun reported that Howard has instructed Mottinger to file a notice of appeal.
A co-defendant, Janelle Cave, 22, was sentenced earlier to 11 years in prison in the killing. She was convicted in February on manslaughter and criminal conspiracy charges.