A Georgia man was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to strangling his 19-year-old girlfriend 2-and-a-half years ago, according to the Newton County District Attorney’s Office.
Jury selection just started Monday in the case against 21-year-old Elijah Romoutar on charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Alyssa Wright.
“In the middle of the state’s sixth witness,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement, “the defendant indicated that he wanted to plead guilty to all the charges against him.”
Romoutar was 19 when he was arrested in connection with the Dec. 6, 2016, death of Wright.
Wright’s family previously told WSB-TV that the teenager went to Ramoutar’s home in Covington the night before her body was found.
“We were sitting on the bed, laughing, joking about things that were starting to look up for us,” Melinda Wright said. “She said, ‘Bye. I love you. I’ll be back.’”
Newton deputies went to the residence after one of Romoutar’s relatives called 911. The family member, prosecutors said, told authorities Romoutar reached out and said he had killed his girlfriend.
Deputies found him behind the house, and Wright was found dead inside, according to prosecutors. He confessed to law enforcement, too, they said. An autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that Wright died from strangulation.
It’s not clear why Romoutar killed Wright. There were no signs of issues between the couple, Wright’s family said.
After accepting Romoutar’s guilty plea, Superior Court Judge Samuel Ozburn handed down the sentence.
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