- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A Livingston County judge has given a life prison sentence to a man who bludgeoned and strangled a friend, then incinerated his body after the victim kissed the killer’s girlfriend.

Judge David Reader issued the sentence Wednesday for 30-year-old George R. Tanner of Brighton Township. Tanner pleaded guilty Sept. 30 to charges of second-degree murder and mutilating a corpse for the Oct. 15, 2011, killing of 40-year-old Christopher L. Townsend.

Tanner admits he beat Townsend with a wrench and strangled him with a belt, then burned his corpse in a wooded area in Green Oak Township.

Tanner’s girlfriend says Tanner admitted he and Brian J. Stafford killed Townsend, one day after Townsend kissed her.

Stafford pleaded guilty in 2012 to second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

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