NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty in the strangulation slaying of his live-in girlfriend near Philadelphia last year has been sentenced to 27 to 65 years in prison.

Thirty-three-year-old Johnny Fossett apologized Monday in Montgomery County to relatives of 40-year-old Lori Jefferson of Springfield, saying he never intended to kill her.

He pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree murder, robbery, theft and unlawful restraint in the January 2012 slaying.

Defense attorney George Griffith sought leniency, saying his client has a history of mental illness and minimal intelligence.

But Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick cited Florida convictions in drug, burglary and robbery cases and called Fossett “nothing but a drain on society.”

Judge William Carpenter agreed, saying the defendant presented “a clear and present danger to others.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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