- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - An eastern Pennsylvania man pleaded no contest no third-degree murder in the strangulation slaying of a woman with whom he had just smoked crack.

Jesus Dominguez, 34, of Allentown, entered the plea Wednesday in Lehigh County Court in the 2014 death of 60-year-old Shirley DiLeo. A defendant doesn’t acknowledge guilt under a no contest plea, but it is treated as a guilty plea for sentencing.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to cap the minimum term at 15 years, and Judge Kelly Banach sentenced him later in the afternoon to 15 to 40 years in prison.

DiLeo was found dead Aug. 31, 2014 after a man reported a stolen car and said there could be a dead person inside an apartment belonging to DiLeo. The witness said he and others had gone to her apartment the night before to smoke crack, and Dominguez told the witnesses that DiLeo was spending the weekend with family in Bethlehem. He wouldn’t let anyone go into the bathroom.

Dominguez, arrested Sept. 2 near the stolen car, told investigators that he smoked crack with the victim and had sex with her, but awoke to find her dead, authorities said. Prosecutors said he moved her into the bathroom and later used cleaner to try to scrub his DNA from the body.

Authorities said he also said another person named “Gabe” was present and prevented him from going into the bathroom, but witnesses said there was no one matching that description there.

Dominguez told the court on Wednesday that he was unable to tell her family what happened to her. He said: “I don’t know who came in that crib while I was asleep, I just don’t know.”

The judge told him to stop and called his remarks “insulting.” She said he may not remember but “You did it, you know you did it.”

First Assistant District Attorney Steven Luksa said DiLeo was dead for approximately two days, and many people were in her apartment using crack during that time.

“That’s the truly troubling aspect of this case,” Luksa told The (Allentown) Morning Call. “Everyone there professed their love for Shirley.but no one did anything to help Shirley.”

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