A man suffocated his pregnant girlfriend after a deliberate crash didn't get the job done first. A Pennsylvania man admitted to suffocating his girlfriend after he deliberately crashed his car in an unsuccessful attempt to kill kill her off. After surviving the high-speed intentional crash, the 19-year-old teen sat on his girlfriend – 17 year-old Samantha “Sammi” Heller – and suffocated her until she died.
Writes Fox6now.com: “21-year-old Benjamin Daniel Klinger was sentenced on Friday to a maximum of 56 years in prison after he admitted to suffocating his 17-year-old girlfriend after she survived a deliberate, 115-mph crash in 2012. Investigators say they found no evidence of braking in the incident that occurred on December 4th, 2012.”
Klinger pleaded guilty to deliberately crashing his 1986 Toyota Celica into a Lancaster County guardrail. A motorist who came upon the crash testified that he saw Klinger sitting on a “moaning, face-down” Heller.
No motive was released for the actions of Klinger, described by prosecutors as both verbally and physically abusive to Heller, whose official cause of death was asphyxiation. Klinger pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. His sentence also included jail time for drug and weapon charges, and for sexting – sexually explicit photos and videos of Heller were sent from his phone.
“At first glance, this appeared to be simply another tragic vehicle accident,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said. “However, the police worked hand-in-hand with our forensic experts and saw this was far more complicated, sinister and certainly criminal.”
The now 21-year-old read a statement in court, saying he takes “full responsibility for the loss of a very special person.” Looking at Sandy McFalls, Heller’s mother, he then said: “I want you to know with all my heart, I’m sorry, really sorry.”
At the sentencing, McFalls read her own statement, telling Lancaster County Judge Margaret Miller judge that the loss of their only daughter shattered them.
“I want you to have nothing else to do (in prison) but think about how you took her life and destroyed ours,” said McFalls, adding that they did everything possible to keep their daughter from seeing Klinger. “We began to do everything we could to keep Sammi away from Ben,” she said.
McFalls said her daughter continued to date Klinger, even after he drove her foot over in a fit of rage. The grieving mother said her daughter, once charismatic and caring, changed after getting involved with Klinger. McFalls forced her daughter to move out of their home after a physical altercation, calling it the “the worst decision I ever made.”
Daniel McFalls, Heller's stepfather, said “it’s hard to find happiness” after Sammi’s death.
Judge Miller had strong words for Klinger at the sentencing hearing. “Today is the first day I've seen any degree of humanity or emotion in you,” the judge said. “There is no doubt in my mind you lived your life with a callousness, arrogance and a cowardliness, frankly, because being a bully is a coward. You treated (Heller) like an object, and when that object became an inconvenience, the object was removed from your path.”