- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - A Southeast Texas jury has returned a 27-year prison sentence for a 39-year-old man who at one time taped an interview with “Dr. Phil” claiming he didn’t kill his girlfriend.

The Harris County jury also fined Mark Castellano $10,000 on Friday after convicting him of murder Thursday.

Castellano could have drawn up to life in prison. Prosecutors say he choked 31-year-old Michelle Warner during a September 2012 argument at their Houston apartment, drove her body to West Texas and dumped it in a shallow grave near Midland.

In 2012, Castellano taped a segment for Phil McGraw’s nationally syndicated program, in which he said Warner walked from their apartment after an argument and disappeared.

Castellano later told police he was responsible for Warner’s death and gave several versions of what happened.

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