- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - A man convicted in the 1979 slaying of a Gary woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

L.C. Strong, 66, received his sentence from Lake Criminal Judge Samuel Cappas on Tuesday, The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1Hn872I ) reports. He was found guilty by a jury last month in the death of Linda C. Martin. Strong plans to appeal his case.

Martin was 29 when she was found strangled in the snow along a street in Gary in February 1979. She was last seen at the Playboy Lounge in Gary before walking home.

According to court testimony, tests done decades after Martin’s death revealed Strong’s DNA was found on her fingernail clippings and on a swab taken from the outside of a bodysuit she was wearing.

Martin’s daughter, Aliza Williams, showed photos to Cappas Tuesday of the milestones that her mother missed, including her college graduation.

“I never got a chance to know her as an adult, as a friend,” said Williams, who was 8 at time of her mother’s death.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Jatkiewicz argued Strong should get a 60-year prison sentence, pointing out he was convicted in Michigan of assault with a dangerous weapon in 1982 and of second-degree murder in 1998. The sentence given by Cappas will be consecutive to one he’s serving in Michigan.

In the 1982 case, Jatkiewicz said the circumstances are similar to what the state theorizes happened to Martin. The victim in that case had testified Strong offered her a ride after she was stranded, and that he drove to an area with factories and pulled a knife on her. She was able to escape, but was stabbed in the arm in a struggle.

Jatkiewicz said the state theorizes Martin also accepted a ride from Strong, but didn’t escape.

Strong told Cappas he was framed in all three crimes.

Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler asked for a 30-year sentence. He argued that only Strong’s criminal history from 1979 should be considered, which included a handgun charge in Gary.


Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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