Michael Purnell was sentenced to two life terms plus 75 years for the rape and murder of an Oak Orchard neighbor on Halloween night in 2011.
In March, Purnell accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to five charges: second-degree murder, first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and two charges of possession of a deadly weapon during the course of a felony. The life sentences were handed down for murder and rape.
Purnell, who has an intellectual disability preventing him from facing the death penalty, pleaded guilty to strangling 70-year-old Dorothy Gudger in her home with a belt. Gudger lived alone a few houses away from Purnell in the River Village community in Oak Orchard.
Court documents show Purnell entered Gudger’s home with the intention of raping her; as he did so, he strangled her with a belt. Purnell also put a plastic bag over her head to smother her.