NJ man gets 15 years for strangling companion

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) - September 19, 2009 Louis Ceresa of Northfield, who attacked Amanda Carmen inside her parked minivan during a scheduled custody exchange in January, was ordered Friday to serve 15 years. He had pleaded guilty in July to aggravated manslaughter.

Prosecutors say the couple's 11-year-old son witnessed the attack, and they and the boy's relatives agreed to a plea bargain to spare him from having to testify. State Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury called the sentence "lenient," but accepted the deal.

The 33-year-old Northfield man must serve 85 percent of his term, or about 12 years, before becoming eligible for parole. He told the judge he had "no excuse" for his actions.

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