RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island judge has sentenced a man convicted of murder in the brutal stabbing of a 21-year-old woman to life without parole.

State Supreme Court Justice John Collins issued the sentence Friday.

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Former U.S. Marine Dante Taylor was convicted in June of first-degree murder and attempted rape of Sarah Goode.

Looking eerily relaxed and at times even smiling, Taylor was led handcuffed into criminal court to learn his fat, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

Goode disappeared in June 2014 after attending a party. Her family and community members had coordinated extensive searches in her hometown of Medford before officers found her body in a wooded area five days after she went missing. She had been stabbed over 40 times.

Goode met Taylor at a party and reportedly rejected his sexual advances and tried to drive away.

“She was just a beautiful girl, life cut short now, and I’ll never have her again. I don’t know what I am going to tell her little daughter when she gets older,” the victim’s mother, Elizabeth Goode, said.

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The courthouse was packed with Sarah Goode’s family and friends who sobbed through powerful victim impact statements as some of her eight siblings described the woman as loyal and loving.

“She had her little daughter to take care of, she was always willing to do things for everyone else, put herself last,”sister Samantha Murphy said.

Prosecutors used cell phone records, a palm print and blood to tie Taylor to the case. He was later arrested in Florida, where his mother admitted to sending him until it was “safe to come back,” WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs had reported.

Amid the family’s loss there is a sense of relief.

“Sarah got justice. He took her life. I hope Sarah’s face haunts him for the rest of his life,” Murphy said.

His attorney argued Taylor had consensual sex with Goode but someone else attacked her. He plans to appeal. The defense believes the life sentence without parol stands a good chance of being reversed on appeal due to a series of police blunders and prosecutor missteps along the way.

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