HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A judge in Dakota County has sentenced a Brooklyn Park man to two life sentences in the deaths of a woman and their unborn child.

A jury found Vern Jason Mouelle guilty Monday of two counts each of first-degree and second-degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old Senicha Marie Lessman and their fetus. Lessman was eight months pregnant.

Judge Erica MacDonald handed down the consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The 25-year-old woman was killed in her Eagan townhome Jan. 24. A criminal complaint says her throat was cut and a cloth was stuffed in her mouth.

The victim’s mother, Margi Lessman, said her daughter was a “loving, kind, smart and beautiful young woman who was very excited to be a mother.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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