MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 55-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, after he was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend.

Patrick William Benton, of Blaine, was found guilty of murdering Susan Courteau, 44, on Oct. 13, 2011. She told police she told Benton to leave her home because he was drinking and scaring her, but he returned later that day and stabbed her to death.

Courteau was found that evening by her sister. She had told family members that they were having problems and that Benton was coming over to get his personal belongings.

A jury found Benton guilty and Anoka County District Court Judge Doug Meslow determined Benton showed a past pattern of domestic abuse, sentencing him to life in prison.

Benton has an extensive criminal record, including domestic assault.

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