Man sentenced to life in prison for Chandler murder

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A man who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of a woman in Chandler has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jaime Coronado, 34, entered the plea on Nov. 14 and was sentenced Wednesday morning. The death penalty was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

The body of Michelle Morales, 41, was found on the floor of a vacant house near Arizona Avenue and Frye Road in Chandler on March 1, 2010.

The homeowner discovered Morales' body after neighbors called and reported a commotion coming from inside the house that morning.

Police said Morales' son had received several phone calls from an unknown man demanding money or his mother would be harmed.

The United States Marshall Service Task Force arrested Coronado near Country Club Drive and U.S. 60 in Mesa later that night. Police said physical evidence found on Coronado connected him to the homicide scene.