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Man convicted of killing 18-year-old girlfriend in 2011 gets maximum sentence

Craig Owens was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder for the death of Letisha Hayes.

A Syracuse man found guilty of killing his 18-year-old girlfriend on Christmas Eve in 2011 has been sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars.

Craig Owens was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder for the death of Letisha Hayes. Before his sentencing, Owens told the court he is not the person who killed Hayes and that he was only trying to save her by performing CPR as an ambulance arrived.

Judge Stephen Dougherty rejected Owens' statement and claimed Owens only performed CPR in an attempt to cover up what he had done. Judge Dougherty then sentenced Owens to 25 years to life in prison, the maximum sentence available.

Police found the victim unconscious and severely beaten at a home on Steuben Street on the morning of December 24, 2011. Hayes later died at the hospital of severe head and facial trauma.

At the time of his arrest, police said Owens had 30 prior arrests for assault, drugs and one unlawful imprisonment. He also had a history of domestic violence, they said.

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