Hawaii man gets life for murdering Pa. professor
Posted: September 12, 2013 - 4:06am

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii man convicted of killing a visiting University of Pittsburgh professor in 1996 was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins gave Jason Lee McCormick the mandatory sentence for second-degree murder.

The 40-year-old McCormick was convicted in June of killing Robert Henderson, a 51-year-old guest lecturer at the University of Hawaii.

Prosecutors say Henderson was strangled. His nude, decomposed body was found in his Waikiki condo five days after he was last seen leaving campus.

McCormick had a stipulated facts trial, where lawyers on both sides allowed Perkins to make a decision based on police reports, mental health evaluations and McCormick's statements.

The case was unsolved until 2008 when McCormick confessed while being treated at a psychiatric facility. McCormick's lawyer Michael Green has said McCormick later went to police and confessed again. He was not charged with second-degree murder until two years later.

During closing arguments, Green said McCormick was drunk and went into a rage because he was sexually abused as a child and believed Henderson made sexual advances toward him.

A message scrawled on Henderson's body accused him of molesting children, which Henderson's brother said was meant to divert attention. Police said there was no evidence to back up the child molestation claim.

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