Man gets maximum sentence for girlfriend's death - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man gets maximum sentence for girlfriend's death

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Eric Grumpelt in court 3/1/13 Eric Grumpelt in court 3/1/13
PHOENIX -

A Chandler man who admitted killing his girlfriend and living with her decomposing body for more than two months has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 37-year-old Erik Grumpelt was given the maximum prison term Friday under his plea agreement.

He received 584 days' credit for time already served.

"While nothing can ever fully assuage a family's grief for the tragic loss of their loved one, today's sentence represents a just resolution to a difficult case that appropriately holds this defendant accountable for taking an innocent life," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Grumpelt pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the May 2011 killing of 39-year-old Malinda Raya.

He told authorities he became angry after Raya allegedly informed him that she'd been sleeping with other men.

Grumpelt told Chandler police that he struck Raya several times in the abdomen with his knee, left her on her bed in their Mesa apartment and later found her dead.

He ended up confessing to his parents and ultimately, police discovered the body.

Police discovered her corpse under a bed wrapped in several sheets in July 2011.

In court Friday, Grumpelt said his drug use is partly to blame.

Jerry Cobb with the Maricopa County Attorney's office says Grumpelt admitted to changing the lock on the apartment door and attempted to mask the subsequent odor of the decomposing body with various deodorizers.

Melinda's two children are now 8 and 6 years old.

Video: FOX 10's Andrew Hasbun reports.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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