TROY, N.Y. (AP) — A 41-year-old man has been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for strangling his 21-year-old stepdaughter with a plastic bag and stashing her body in a suitcase that was found floating in the Hudson River.

At his sentencing in Rensselaer County Court on Monday, Johnny Oquendo told the court he was innocent. State Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia sentenced him to the maximum for killing Noel Alkaramia in his Troy apartment in November 2015.

The suitcase containing her body surfaced in Albany months later.

The defense argued Oquendo had no motive to kill the woman.

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