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Originally published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:24 PM

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Wenatchee man pleads guilty to manslaughter in beauty-school killing

A 31-year-old man who went to beauty school with 17-year-old Mackenzie Cowell in Wenatchee pleaded guilty in her death Wednesday and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

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14 years for a brutal murder! AMAZING!! MORE
Sounds like the prosecution's case fell apart somehow. MORE
That's hardly justice, 14 years! What happened to life sentence for murder? MORE

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WENATCHEE — A Wenatchee man accused of killing a beauty-school classmate pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in a plea deal Wednesday and was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison.

Jury selection had been under way for the trial of Christopher Scott Wilson, 31, who was charged with first-degree murder in the February 2010 death of 17-year-old Mackenzie Cowell.

Wilson also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, as well as second-degree assault on another woman, under the plea deal.

Wilson showed no emotion during the hearing. Before the trial began, he had rejected a 10-year plea offer.

Cowell was a high-school senior and dance-team member who also studied at the Academy of Hair Design on weekday afternoons. She disappeared on the afternoon of Feb. 9, 2010.

Police found her abandoned vehicle 5 miles away on a rural road. Four days later, Cowell's body was found on the edge of the Columbia River, some 20 miles south of Wenatchee.

She had been struck in the head, strangled and stabbed.

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