- Associated Press - Thursday, April 4, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A judge has sentenced an Alabama man to die for the killing of a woman who authorities say was tortured to death.

Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge Brad Almond imposed the death penalty on 34-year-old Michael Belcher during a hearing Wednesday.

Belcher was convicted of capital murder last month in the slaying of 29-year-old Samantha Payne.

Evidence showed Payne was beaten for hours in November 2015. Her throat was cut and she was tied naked to a tree and left in the Talladega National Forest.

Prosecutors say Belcher was the ringleader of a group of five people who killed Payne while using methamphetamine. He’s the only one who got the death penalty.

Belcher says words can’t express his sorrow. The victim’s mother, Susi Payne, says the man hasn’t shown any remorse.

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