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Man Gets Life in Prison Without Parole For Murdering Escort He Only Intended to Rob

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A man convicted for the beating and strangling death of an escort in a Garden Grove hotel room has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 36-year-old Cesar Gomez of El Monte was convicted in the fall for murdering 24-year-old Ashley Lilly at the Crown Plaza Anaheim Resort, near Disneyland, according to City News Service.

The victim's mother, unable to travel to California for the sentencing from her home state of Missouri, told Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley to share that Ashley was not her only daughter to be the victim of a brutal, fatal crime; Ashley's sister Neomi "was raped and killed on Oct. 20, 1990, in Omaha, Nebraska, when she was 9 years old."

Ashley Lilly was an aspiring filmmaker, but was working for an escort service. Gomez contacted Lilly via the service's website and arranged their meeting at the hotel.

Gomez did not have sex with Lilly, but instead tied her up and ransacked the room looking for valuables, and believing Lilly was still alive.

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"The only sentence Gomez could get was life without parole because the jury found true a special circumstance allegation of committing the murder during a robbery. The prosecution never sought the death penalty."