NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) – A former Ware man has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole after being found guilty in the bludgeoning death of an 83-year-old woman.

A Hampshire Superior Court jury deliberated for less than a full day before convicting 27-year-old Nathan Ruell of first-degree murder, armed robbery and arson.

Prosecutors said Rose Ann Martowski – a great-grandmother – was struck at least eight times in the head during the Oct. 10, 2005, attack in her Ware home.

Prosecutors said Ruell broke into the victim’s house intending to steal money and jewelry. He was linked to the crime by DNA found on a cigarette left behind.

Defense attorney Alan Black argued during the trial that a cigarette butt was not enough evidence to convict his client.

Information from: Telegram & Gazette,

AP-ES-02-05-09 1716EST

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