Man sentenced to life in beating death of 84-year-old woman

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison in the 1984 beating death of an 84-year-old woman during a suspected burglary.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 56-year-old Brian McBenge was sentenced Thursday for second-degree murder in the death of Eleonora Knoernschild, of St. Charles.

Her death went unsolved until 2011, when police linked DNA on a plastic cheese wrapper to Brian McBenge, and DNA on Knoernschild’s nylon stocking to his brother, 53-year-old Cecil McBenge. After an appeals court tossed the brothers’ original convictions, Brian McBenge was retried in September.

Brian McBenge previously was acquitted in the 1983 killing of his grandfather, and charges against him in a 1985 killing were dismissed when a witness refused to testify.

Cecil McBenge has a plea hearing scheduled for next week.

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