FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A convicted rapist was sentenced to 60 years in prison Wednesday after admitting he killed a 16-year-old girl he met online whose body was found stuffed into a blue plastic barrel in western Arkansas.
Lloyd Jones, 36, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder in Angela Allen's death. Had he been convicted at trial, Jones could have been sentenced to life in prison.
"He will not be eligible for parole until he's 96 years old so we look at this as a life sentence," prosecutor Alison Houston said.
Jones also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse and other charges during the hearing in Sebastian County Circuit Court.
His defense attorney, Rita Watkins, didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Allen's body was discovered in February on land owned by Jones' brother near Lavaca, about 15 miles east of Fort Smith. Jones was charged in her death soon after.
Authorities said Jones told investigators he picked up the teenager Feb. 10 at a hospital parking lot in Van Buren after she told a relative she was going for a walk. Jones took the girl to the Arkansas River, opting not to take her to his home because "his girlfriends might become upset with him," according to court documents. He acknowledged making out with the girl at the river's edge, but "violently pushed her into the water and left her there" after she told him she was 20 years his junior.
Deputies searching for the girl found her body in a barrel Feb. 17 and medical examiners identified her through dental records. A preliminary autopsy showed she died of strangulation.
Sheriff's investigators say they found several text messages from Jones on the teen's cellphone.
Jones told authorities he used a website, Mbuzzy.com, to communicate with Allen, who also had an account with that site, sheriff's investigator Anthony Sacco wrote in a report. Court documents allege that Jones also told investigators that when he and Allen were at the river, he hit her in the chest and knocked her into the water.
"He thought that (Angela) might have been unable to swim, because her arms might have been injured when she was struck," Sacco wrote.
One of Jones' girlfriends told authorities that his clothes and shoes were covered in mud when he returned home that night.
Prosecutors said that while Jones was in jail, he implicated himself by asking his father during a visit: "Did they find her?"
Court records filed in 2001 show a jury found Jones guilty of rape after a prosecutor said he held a box cutter to a woman's throat, duct-taped her mouth and sexually assaulted her. A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison. He was paroled in 2008 and discharged in 2010, according to a prison spokeswoman.