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Montana man sentenced to 33 years in shooting death

A Montana man who at first blamed his common-law wife's shooting death on a hitchhiker has been sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.

The Yakima Herald-Republic says Stephen Harwood was sentenced Tuesday in Yakima County Superior Court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the 2009 death of Sheryl Huntley. The 40-year-old woman was shot in the head as the two were driving from their home in Thompson Falls, Mont., to Yakima.

Harwood at first told investigators that the couple had picked up a hitchhiker on Interstate 82 and that the man attacked them. However, a Washington State Patrol trooper later found a handgun near a rest stop, and DNA from the gun was linked to Harwood.

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