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Judge Rejects Plea Deal In Murder Of South Jersey Softball Star

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MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge has rejected a plea agreement that would have sent a Florence Township man to prison for 30 years for killing a high school and college softball star.

The family of victim of Nicole Ayers along with a prosecutor argued that Stephen Headley should spend more than 30 years in prison.

Authorities say the 30-year-old stabbed 22-year-old Ayers more than 30 times with a pocket knife before leaving her body in a Southampton soccer field in September 2010.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Judge James Palmer Jr. rejected the earlier plea deal. He gave Headley the choice of a longer prison term or facing trial.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Dec. 3.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)