- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - A Denver man has been sentenced to life in prison in an alleged murder-for-hire plot in Maryland.

Thirty-six-year-old Grant Lewis was sentenced Monday in Baltimore County Circuit Court. A jury found him guilty in October of first-degree murder in the killing of Heidi Bernadzikowski. The 24-year-old was found dead in her Dundalk, Maryland home in April 2000. She had been strangled and her neck was cut.

Prosecutors say Lewis was a go-between between the young woman’s boyfriend, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr. of Pasadena, Maryland, and the man prosecutors say he paid to kill her, Alexander Bennett of Greeley, Colorado.

Bennett pleaded guilty to murder and is awaiting sentencing. Cooke’s trial is in June.

Police say Cooke wanted to collect on a $700,000 life insurance policy he had purchased on Bernadzikowski.

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