Man Sentenced For Killing Woman, Putting Body In Acid-Filled Can

CLEVELAND (AP) - A judge gave a 21-year prison sentence to a man who killed his live-in girlfriend, dismembered her body and put it in an acid-filled garbage can on their apartment balcony.

"Unfortunately, that is the longest sentence that I can give you," Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Judith Kilbane Koch said Monday to Gerald Lee Thompson.

Thompson, 37, met Canadian Nancy Pimentel, 26, in British Columbia early last year. Her badly decayed body was found June 10 at the Mayfield Heights apartment the couple had shared.

An autopsy showed Pimentel had 40 bruises on her body that occurred before she died. It was unclear what led to Pimentel's murder, although Thompson told one witness that his girlfriend was holding him back and that he was tired of her.

Thompson was convicted of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and domestic violence.

Pimentel's mother, Maria, whose native language is Portuguese, told the judge through tears and broken English: "I miss her so much. I love her so much. Day and night I think about her.

"Why kill her, my beautiful daughter?" she asked, looking directly at the handcuffed Thompson.

Pimentel and her daughter, Lorraine, traveled six hours by bus from their home in Brampton, Ontario, near Toronto, to attend the sentencing. Mayfield Heights safety forces collected money to help pay for the trip and for a night's stay at a motel.

Thompson delivered a rambling, muddled speech about how his rights had been violated.

"I'm colored-up to be the culprit of this crime," he told Koch.

Koch said she was "absolutely shocked by the total lack of remorse" Thompson had shown. She also noted that Thompson had a lengthy police record, including a conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)