Oklahoma man sentenced to life in prison in 1997 cold case

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma man convicted of murder in the 1997 disappearance and presumed death of an 8-year-old girl has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Oklahoman reports that 58-year-old Anthony Joseph Palma was sentenced Monday. He was convicted of first-degree murder last month in connection to the disappearance and suspected death of Kirsten Renee Hatfield.

Prosecutors alleged Palma took Kirsten from her home after she went to bed on May 13, 1997. Her body has never been found.

Palma was arrested in October 2015 after new DNA testing connected him to blood found at the scene. He lived near the Hatfield residence when the girl went missing and hadn't moved.

Palma denies involvement in Kirsten's disappearance, but he says he doesn't plan on appealing his conviction.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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