Judge rejects plea deal in NJ softball player murder

Stephen Headley and Nicole Ayres

November 11, 2012 4:46:52 AM PST
A New Jersey judge has rejected a plea agreement that would have sent a Florence Township man to prison for 30 years for killing a high school and college softball star.

The family of victim of Nicole Ayres along with a prosecutor argued that Stephen Headley should spend more than 30 years in prison.

Authorities say the 30-year-old stabbed 22-year-old Ayers more than 30 times with a pocket knife before leaving her body in a Southampton soccer field in September 2010.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Judge James Palmer Jr. rejected the earlier plea deal. He gave Headley the choice of a longer prison term or facing trial.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for December 3.