TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A man convicted in the first of two murder cases in Tucson involving young girls was sentenced Monday to natural life in prison.
Christopher Clements also got a 17-year prison term for kidnapping the teenage victim and it will be served consecutively with the life sentence for first-degree murder.
Clements was convicted Sept. 30 in the death of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez.
A different Pima County Superior Court jury will hear Clements’ second trial in February involving the death of 6-year-old Isabel Celis.
Clements, a 40-year-old convicted sex offender with a long criminal record, was arrested in 2018 and indicted on 22 felony counts in the two girls’ deaths.
Celis vanished from her parents’ Tucson home in April 2012 while Gonzalez disappeared while walking to a friend’s house in June 2014.
Authorities said Gonzalez’s body was found days after her disappearance while Celis’ remains weren’t recovered until 2017 after Clements led federal agents to the location.
Clements currently is serving a prison term of up to 35 years for a Maricopa County burglary in 2017.