- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend in South Carolina more than three years ago.

Joey Clark, 43, of Mooresboro, N.C., was convicted Thursday in the death of 26-year-old Winter Wingard in Cherokee County.

Investigators say Wingard was beaten, strangled and stabbed in 2010.

A jury deliberated about two hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Prosecutors say Clark and Wingard had lived together with her mother until October 2010, when Wingard ended the relationship. Prosecutors said when Clark was killed she was in a relationship with a Georgia woman and Clark furious about the situation.



Prosecutors said at one point, Clark had sent the woman a text message saying that Wingard had AIDS.

Prosecutor Kim Leskanic told the jury during closing arguments that no one knows the exact sequence of events during the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2010, evidence pointed to Wingard and Clark having an argument at her home that became physical.

Defense attorney Chase Harbin told jurors that police focused on Clark and failed to consider other possibilities.

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