EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) __ A southwestern Illinois man has pleaded guilty to killing a woman during an argument, dismembering her body and leaving her remains behind a shopping center.

A judge sentenced 27-year-old Joshua Tharp of East Alton on Monday to 30 years in prison for first-degree murder and 25 years for dismemberment of a body. Authorities alleged Tharp met 26-year-old Crystal Terpening of East Alton on Oct. 12 and later argued with the woman, striking her and killing her.

They say he dismembered her body and left the remains behind a shopping center in East Alton. Terpening was the mother of a 1-year-old son. Her remains were found Nov. 4.

Terpening’s mother, Deborah Schooler, says Tharp “took the life of a precious girl.” Tharp apologized and said it was an accident.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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