A 33-year-old Aurora man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for strangling his 21-year-old live-in girlfriend in December 2011 and hiding her body so he could get money for crack.
The attorney for Delbert K. Cooper, of the 900 block of East Lake Street, argued during a trial last January that his client acted in self-defense after Renee Ann Perry came at him with a knife because she was mad about his ongoing drug use.
But Kane County prosecutors argued that Cooper killed Perry by strangling her and stabbing her in the head after she refused to give him money for a fix.
Cooper had only $7 to his name but took $100 after killing her, prosecutors said.
Cooper then got high and later checked himself into a hospital under a fake name claiming he was homeless and suicidal, prosecutors argued at trial.
Security camera images also showed him favoring his right hand where he had a severe cut on his little finger from plunging the knife into Perry's neck, prosecutors argued.
Perry and Cooper dated for about four years and had two children together.
Prosecutors said Perry's body was discovered a couple of days later after police conducted a well-being check at the couple's apartment.
Jurors took less than three hours to convict Cooper after a week of testimony.
Judge Clint Hull imposed the sentence Monday, according to court records.
Cooper must serve 100 percent of the sentence.
He faced up to 60 years behind bars and gets credit for about 27 months spent at the Kane County jail while the case was pending.