Life for woman who posed as murdered sister

A California woman who impersonated her sister in public after stuffing her dismembered body in a freezer was sentenced to life in prison without parole and barred from profiting by selling a tell-all book or movie script.

A California woman who impersonated her sister in public after stuffing her dismembered body in a freezer was sentenced to life in prison without parole and barred from profiting by selling a tell-all book or movie script.

Prosecutors said Sarah Mitchell, 50, planned to impersonate her murdered 52-year-old sister Stevie Allman, an anti-drug crusader, to withdraw money from her trust accounts.

‘‘We believe some jurors did have some lingering doubt that contributed to why the death penalty was not imposed,’’ said Mitchell’s attorney, Albert Wax, who planned to appeal following yesterday’s sentencing.

Mitchell began posing as her sister after the murder in the summer of 1997. They shared a home which burned after the crime and Mitchell said it had been firebombed by disgruntled drug dealers. Governor Pete Wilson offered a 50,000 (£34,000) reward for information in the case.

Police soon discovered the impersonation, but not before Mitchell collected 3,600 (£2,400) in cheques playing upon the sympathy of others.

Later in the summer of 1997, police found Allman’s body. She had been dismembered and stuffed into a freezer sealed with duct tape in the ruins of the shared home.

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