Man sentenced in slaying of NJ softball player

January 2, 2013 4:53:44 PM PST
A southern New Jersey man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing a former star softball player.

Stephen Headley of Florence must serve 85 percent of the term imposed Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty in July to first-degree murder charges.

The 30-year-old Headley admitted stabbing 22-year-old Nicole Ayres several times in the face, torso and back in September 2010 after they argued at a convenience store. Her body was found near an athletic field in rural Southampton Township, south of Trenton.

Ayres was a former high school and college softball star from Deptford who had only known Headley a short time. Neither Headley nor prosecutors have disclosed what they argued about.

Headley initially was offered a 30-year sentence, but a judge rejected that after Ayres's family objected.