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Jurors Hand Down Lengthy Sentence For Strangling Girlfriend

A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison for fatally strangling his girlfriend because she refused to participate in a threesome at her Desert Hot Springs motor home.

Pietro Saintis, 50, of Desert Hot Springs, was convicted in May of second-degree murder for the Nov. 8, 2006, slaying of 45-year-old Donna Jean Bodkin, who was found dead in her motor home near 10805 Palm Drive.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge John G. Evans gave Saintis credit for the nearly two years he has spent in custody and ordered him to enroll in a counseling or substance abuse program while in prison.

During trial, Deputy District Attorney Arthur Hester said Saintis got angry when Bodkin would not agree to participate in a threesome, and became enraged when another man knocked on her door.

Saintis’ attorney, Jim Silva, argued that although Saintis admitted killing the woman, he didn’t do it on purpose and should have been convicted of manslaughter instead of murder.

Testifying in his own defense, Saintis said he remembered Bodkin screaming for help and asking him to stop beating her.

Silva asked his client why he didn’t stop the beating.

“I was just in a rage, an uncontrollable, stupid rage,” Saintis said.

He said he did not remember strangling Bodkin, but stopped hitting her “when she became still.”

KESQ News Team

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