- Associated Press - Friday, January 26, 2018

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for strangling a woman in 2014.

Local media outlets report 48-year-old Alexander Matthews was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and third-degree arson.

Firefighters were called in 2014 to a burning home, where they found the body of 63-year-old Willie Mae Gray. Officials determined she had been strangled and beaten.

Matthews testified he didn’t kill Gray and barely knew her. The day before Gray died, Matthews said Gray accidentally scratched him when he tried to break up a fight between her and another woman.

Authorities said Matthews was identified as a suspect through DNA found underneath Gray’s fingernails.

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