Crime

Montana Man Gets Life in Prison for Strangulation Death

Judge said Diego Hernandez of Laurel will not be eligible for parole before he served 35 years

By Associated Press

A Montana man was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for the October 2019 strangulation death of a woman who had given him a ride home from the casino where she worked.

District Court Judge Michael Moses said Diego Hernandez of Laurel will not be eligible for parole before he served 35 years, The Billings Gazette reported.

Hernandez, 24, was convicted of deliberate homicide in March for the death of Lori Bray, 57.

Bray was last seen alive giving Hernandez a ride home after her shift at a casino in Laurel early on Oct. 1, 2019, court records said.

Bray’s car was found abandoned north of Laurel and her naked body was found in a ravine about 3 miles (5 kilometers) away, investigators said. Bray’s purse, cellphone and clothing were found in the car. Her wallet had been emptied of cash.

DNA under her fingernails matched a sample obtained from Hernandez, who had scratches on his face, prosecutors said.

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