- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - A man convicted of hiring two men to kill his girlfriend so he could collect life insurance money has been sentenced to life without parole plus 30 years.

Forty-four-year-old Stephen Michael Cooke Jr. of Pasadena was sentenced Thursday in Baltimore County Circuit Court. He was convicted in June of first-degree murder, solicitation of murder and conspiracy in the death of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski.

Bernadzikowski was found with her throat cut and strangled in the couple’s Dundalk home in April 2000.

Two Colorado men were also convicted in the case.

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