ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- A man was sentenced Friday to 48 years in prison for the second-degree murder of a 19-year-old girl from Pueblo who went missing last year.
Christopher Adam Waide, 24, was also sentenced to six years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child, to be served concurrently with the 48-year prison term.
Lea Chali Porter, 19, went missing in early June 2014 and Waide posted on Facebook asking for help in finding her.
But Porter's stepfather, Michael Jackson, said she was a high school friend of Waide and had rejected his romantic advances before, raising her stepfather's suspicions.
"I don't believe he would be in jail if we wouldn't have taken this into our own hands," Jackson said.
Jackson said Waide's school principal knew about a manifesto he had written that described "capturing a girl and sexually assaulting her and killing her."
Police said Waide later confessed to stabbing and strangling Lea Porter in his Westminster apartment and then leaving her body in a dumpster.
Westminster police searched a landfill for more than 40 days after Waide said that he had placed her body in a dumpster, but her body was never recovered.
In imposing sentence, Adams County District Judge Craig Welling said he did not believe the version of events that Waide gave police about how Porter died.
Waide’s actions “deprived the family from having closure and to have a final goodbye with their beloved family member,” Welling said.
Waide pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and also sexual exploitation of a child for possessing more than 20 pornographic images on a computer that was seized in the case, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
“The defendant has received the maximum sentence of 48 years for second-degree murder and likely will spend the rest of his life in prison, “ District Attorney Dave Young said. “This has been a difficult and sad case for everyone involved. I empathize with the family in the tragic loss of their 19-year-old daughter. This case has been one of our highest priority cases since June of 2014.”