MINEOLA, N.Y. (1010 WINS/AP) — A man linked through DNA evidence to the 1989 murder of a New Jersey woman on Long Island has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Dororthy LeConte

A photo of Dororthy LeConte from 1989 (Credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Joey Bethea was found guilty of murder last November in the strangulation of 22-year-old Dorothy LeConte, of North Bergen, N.J.

Before authorities took Bethea away, he look to the victim’s sister and said he ‘didn’t do it,’ to which Patricia LeConte shouted ‘Don’t talk to me’ and left the courtroom in tears.

“It was very hard for me to hear that he did not do it,” LeConte said.

The victim was visiting relatives on Long Island. Her body was found near a small creek near Hempstead High School. She had also been raped.

Bethea lived in upstate Bainbridge, N.Y. He was arrested in 2009 and charged with stealing a donation jar from a Bainbridge gas station. DNA linked him to the unsolved murder.

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