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Man gets 45 years in Illinois prison for killing grandmother for inheritance

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Richard Schmelzer (Kane County State's Attorney / HANDOUT)

GENEVA, Ill. — A Texas man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison in Illinois for killing his grandmother for an inheritance.

Rich A. Schmelzer was convicted in December in the slaying of 85-year-old Mildred Darrington of suburban Chicago. He was sentenced Thursday by Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson.

Prosecutors say Schmelzer traveled from Frisco, Texas, to set up an elaborate series of alibis before killing the woman in 2014.

During his trial, prosecutors said Schmelzer became deeply in debt by having a lavish lifestyle.

Prosecutors say as co-executor of Darrington’s estate and a beneficiary of her trust, Schmelzer started to transfer money from her credit cards. When he learned he stood to inherit about half of an $800,000 estate, he plotted to return to the Chicago area to kill her.