- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Authorities say a Rhode Island woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the strangulation death of another woman at a Middletown apartment.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office says 35-year-old Melissa Castle, of Portsmouth, was sentenced to 50 years in prison with 35 years to serve under the plea deal reached Wednesday in Newport Superior Court.

Police say Castle strangled 34-year-old Rachael Kilroy on Aug. 25, 2015 when an argument escalated into violence. Kilroy died from homicidal asphyxia.

Authorities say Castle had admitted to strangling Kilroy.

Castle was initially charged with domestic murder. A grand jury later returned a murder charge because the two did not have an “established relationship.”

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