Watson’s killer gets 23 years to life

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Steven Pieper, former boyfriend of murdered Mercyhurst student Jenni-Lyn Watson, was sentenced Tuesday to 23 years to life in prison for Watson’s November murder.

Pieper, 21, strangled Watson, 20, in her home while she was home on Thanksgiving break, then dumped her body in a nearby park. He had previously planned to take the case to trial, but pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Feb. 15. Two years were taken from his possible sentence of 25 to life.

“You deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison,” Onondaga County Judge Anthony Aloi said to Pieper Tuesday in court, according to WSYR of Syracuse.

Pieper and Watson had dated for more than a year before she broke up with him last fall. He apologize and described the murder as “cowardly and self-centered,” according to The Post-Standard of Syracuse.