SIOUXLAND---A Mexican national convicted of killing a 3-year-old Siouxland girl has been sentenced to life in prison.
A three-judge panel convened Monday in Dakota County District Court.
It handed down the sentence more than a year after Melecio Camacho-De Jesus was convicted of first-degree murder in the May 2009 death of Evelyn Verdugo Paniagua.
Prosecutors in the case had argued for the death penalty, noting Camacho-De Jesus killed the girl during a sexual assault.
The jury found there were aggravating circumstances that warranted the death penalty during the first phase of Camacho-De Jesus' sentencing.
Prosecutors say Camacho-De Jesus broke into the preschooler's home, sodomized her, then killed her as her family slept.
Camacho-De Jesus had lived in the home until about two weeks before the killing.