Second brother sentenced in beating death of 84-year-old

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A second brother has been sentenced in the beating death of an 84-year-old woman more than three decades ago during a break-in at her eastern Missouri home.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 53-year-old Cecil McBenge was ordered Thursday to spend 15 years in prison for second-degree murder in the death of Eleonora Knoernschild. He said his brother, Brian McBenge, killed Knoernschild in 1984 while they were burglarizing her St. Charles home.

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 Cecil McBenge.

An appeals court later tossed the brothers’ original convictions. Brian McBenge was sentenced to life in prison last week. Cecil McBenge reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

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