Suspect pleads guilty in elderly Magnolia woman's murder - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Suspect pleads guilty in elderly Magnolia woman's murder

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Robert L. Harrison, 32 (Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office) Robert L. Harrison, 32 (Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
Prosecutors say DNA evidence places Harrison at Glenda Stroman's home at the time of her death. (Photo courtesy Mike McNeill, magnoliareporter.com) Prosecutors say DNA evidence places Harrison at Glenda Stroman's home at the time of her death. (Photo courtesy Mike McNeill, magnoliareporter.com)
MAGNOLIA, AR (KSLA) -

The man accused in the murder of an elderly Magnolia woman has changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

32-year-old Robert Harrison, of Emerson, pleaded guilty Thursday in Columbia County District Court to first degree murder in the death of 74-year-old Glenda Stroman at her home on May 27, 2012.

Stroman was strangled and her throat was slashed. Prosecutors says DNA evidence places Harrison at the home at the time of her death.

KSLA News 12 talked on Thursday with members of the victim's family.

Two months ago, Stroman's brother, Gerald Williams, said, "Well, I am glad it's going to trial. I just hope I live longer enough to be here when it goes."

But that was when a trial was still on. Now Williams, who is battling cancer, gets to see his wish for justice come true.

"At least everything is cleared up now and I can go on with my life," Williams says.

Prosecuting Attorney David Butler describes what happened at the time of the murder.

They say Harrison was under the influence of drugs when he came to her house asking for money, and when she said no, he attacked her. She fought back, they say, leaving Harrison's DNA under her fingernails.

Harrison was arrested June 27 in Magnolia and charged with capital murder. He rejected a plea deal offered in October of first degree murder for life in prison without parole and was scheduled to go to trial in March of 2013. If convicted, he could have faced the death penalty.

Stroman's family members were in court Thursday. They say they are satisfied with the plea and sentencing, knowing that they will avoid having to go to trial and have to hear the detailed testimony about what happened in the North Dudney Road home.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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