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Man Who Pleaded Guilty In Pulaski Co. Murder Sentenced To Life I - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Man Who Pleaded Guilty In Pulaski Co. Murder Sentenced To Life In Prison

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) - The man who pleaded guilty to the murder of a woman on the grounds of a Pulaski County church was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday. 

Dwight Mitchell Bell was charged in the August death of Ruthie Carolyn New.  New's body was found in the activity center of the Denham Street Baptist Church. Bell fled the scene in New's vehicle. He abandoned the car in Indiana and was later found in Dandridge, Tennessee. Police say he confessed during an interrogation.

In 1999, Bell was arrested for the death of his father in Indiana. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to several years in prison. A warrant for his arrest was also issued in Indiana on a strangulation charge.

Bell was due in court for a pre-trial hearing Monday but pleaded guilty instead. He asked to be sentenced quickly and the judge scheduled the sentencing for Thursday so that New's family could be in attendance.

During the sentencing Thursday, the judge called Bell a thief who stole a life and "stole innocence from this community." Ruthie's son Jonathan spoke in court, saying that Saturday would have been his mother's birthday. He also read off the names of Ruthie's grieving loved ones. 

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