HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison in the strangulation slaying of his girlfriend’s mother whose body was found after a 2019 Pennsylvania fire.
A Dauphin County judge on Monday sentenced 35-year-old Calvin Purdie Jr. to 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder and a consecutive term of 10 to 20 years for aggravated arson. A jury convicted Purdie of the crimes in November after an earlier trial in which jurors were unable to reach agreement on a verdict.
Prosecutors said DNA from the defendant was found under the fingernails of the one hand of 49-year-old Charlotte Chaplin that wasn’t incinerated. Authorities accused him of setting the fire to try to cover up the May 2019 slaying in Hershey.
Authorities said he was living with the victim and dating her daughter at the time, and prosecutors said Purdie had come to see Chaplin as a “barrier” to his relationship with her daughter.
Defense attorneys said their client had nothing to do with the killing and suggested a stalker or ex-boyfriend of the victim may have been responsible, PennLive.com reported. Prosecutors said the other people suggested by the defense all had solid alibis.
Purdie was on parole for aggravated assault at the time and faces revocation of that parole, prosecutors said.