SAN FERNANDO (CBSLA.com) — The family of a woman who was smothered to death in her home watched Monday as her killer was sentenced Monday to 26 years to life in prison.

Jurors last month found Eric Allen Earle, 43, guilty of first-degree murder last month for the Sept. 1, 2011 asphyxiation death of Karla Brada, according to Deputy District Attorney Elena Abramson.

“Mr. Earle, the jury has spoken and the buck stops here. And you’re done. You’re not going to be able to victimize anybody else as the result of your act, because you will be locked up for the rest of your life,” the judge told him before sentencing him.

Brada, who was killed two days before her 32nd birthday, was found dead inside the condominium unit she shared with Earle.

Earle’s attorney said she had fallen down the stairs, but a medical examiner determined Brada had been smothered to death.

According to trial testimony, Earle had assaulted Brada on other occasions and had also beaten his ex-wife. Prosecutors said Brada had refused to cooperate in a domestic violence case against Earle a month before her death.

Brada’s body was covered in bruises, according to a forensic expert who testified during the trial.

The two met at a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous in Canyon Country.

Earle will be eligible to go before a parole board in 25 years, and the judge encouraged Brada’s family to attend that hearing. Brada’s parents may not be able to go, but her sister says she will be there.

“I think I kind of owe it to them. That once they pass, that I’ll be here to be sure that they don’t let him go, they don’t give him any leniency,” Sasha Mendez said.

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