New trial sought in midstate woman's suffocation death after crash

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 28, 2016 12:39 PM

(Lancaster) -- A man sentenced to decades in prison in what authorities said was the suffocation death of his girlfriend after his deliberate high-speed car crash is seeking a new trial.

Twenty-two-year-old Benjamin Klinger was sentenced in Lancaster County to 28 to 56 years after he pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the December 2012 death of 17-year-old Samantha Heller.

Klinger argues in an appeal that his attorney gave him bad advice and didn't fully investigate potential defense. He wants to withdraw his plea and go to trial.

Authorities said Klinger was physically and verbally abusive to Heller in the two years before officials allege that he intentionally sped his car into a guardrail near Manheim at about 100 mph, then suffocated her on the roadside.

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