Man sentenced to life in prison for 1988 death

PONTIAC (AP) - An ex-convict who was convicted of murder nearly three decades after an 88-year-old widow was found dead in her suburban Detroit home has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Billy Joe Bennett was charged last year after investigators linked the 55-year-old to DNA evidence. The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports he was given his punishment Tuesday. An Oakland County Circuit Court jury earlier convicted him of felony murder.

Investigators say they believe Elnora Barrager died of a heart attack in 1988 as a result of being raped after a break-in at her Pontiac home.

Bennett testified at trial that he didn't hurt her.

Prosecutors say Bennett targeted Barrager because he had known her previously. Witnesses testified that he did yard and house work for her.

Published: Thu, Mar 24, 2016