NEW JERSEY - A man who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list is going to prison for 31 and a half years for killing his fiancée and her dog because he did not want her to know that he had lost his job.
A judge in New Jersey on Thursday sentenced Lamont Stephenson, 46, without the possibility of parole.
Stephenson pleaded guilty in June to strangling Olga DeJesus and her dog, Lola, in 2014 in her Newark home. He acknowledged in court that he killed her because he had lost his job at an auto parts and service store and did not want to tell her. He pretended to go to work, prosecutors said.
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Stephenson and De Jesus had known each other as teenagers and met again in 2014 at a high school reunion. "They had a whirlwind romance and were engaged to be married," said Special Agent Carl Priddy, FBI Newark Division.
Stephenson took a cab to Newark’s Penn Station, where investigators believe he fled the state by bus or train.
He spent five years on the run until he was arrested in Maryland in 2019.
In a separate case, he was charged with killing a girlfriend and her cat. Natina Kiah, 40, was found stabbed to death in her Washington, D.C. home.
Prosecutors said Kiah was a security guard at a homeless shelter where Stephenson was living under an assumed name.
Lamont Stephenson was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. He is going to prison for 31 and a half years for killing his fiancée and her dog because he did not want her to know that he had lost his job. (FBI)
"I sat down and had dinner with this man with my child and my sisters and my mom," Kiah's daughter, Jenn-A told the USA TODAY Network New Jersey in 2019.
The daughter said Stephenson went by the names "Bishop Hollywood" and "Leon Jackson." She saw no sign of trouble in their relationship.
That case was pending.
With the Associated Press