By Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - A suburban Detroit restaurant worker has apologized for strangling his girlfriend and then dismembering her body.

On Friday, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Phyllis McMillen in Pontiac gave 29-year-old William Dhondt (DAHNT) the mandatory penalty of life in prison without possibility of parole.

A jury on March 28 convicted him of first-degree murder and mutilation of a dead body in the death of 29-year-old Kaitlin Hehir (HEHR).

Farmington police say Dhondt reported Hehir missing in February 2013, and they arrested Dhondt after finding the body parts.

Authorities say he spent several hours dismembering Hehir’s body in her basement, putting the body parts in a Home Depot box, baggies and other containers.

Defense lawyer Judith Gracey says Dhondt snapped during a drunken argument and didn’t mean to kill Hehir.

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