CROWN POINT | A Gary man was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison in the stabbing death of a woman whose body was found in 2011 on DNR property in Lake County.
Cadereo Jester, 27, agreed to the sentence in a plea deal first reached in July but later delayed when he sought new counsel.
In pleading guilty to murder, Jester admitted being with the victim, 23-year-old Christine Arnold, on July 18, 2011 in the 300 block of Hovey Street in Gary, where he killed the woman following a dispute.
Jester admitted to then disposing of the woman's body and vehicle at the Ivanhoe Nature Conservancy.
Jester told police he and Arnold went to the abandoned home in Gary where they fought for about 20 minutes, according to court documents.
He admitted to putting the woman, then of New Buffalo, Mich., and formerly of LaPorte, in her Mercedes-Benz, driving away from the Hovey Street house and "driving through some gate."
Arnold's body was found the same day in the backseat of the still-running car, which had crashed through the gate at the nature conservancy.
Jester's sentencing came on what would have been the woman's 26th birthday.
"This day will always be bittersweet as we know that Cadereo Jester is now behind bars," stated the woman's father, Edward Arnold, in a statement to the press.
Arnold stated investigators were able to use his daughter's cell phone to find the actual scene of the crime.
"Some people are concerned by the tracking ability of phones today, but in this case, it helped solve this crime and I encourage all families to stay connected in this way," Arnold urged in his statement.
In a victim-impact statement to the court, Arnold described his daughter as a loving, artistic woman who had changed her life after a difficult youth.
He agreed to a plea bargain as Jester asked, because he didn't want society to waste any more resources on him, he told the court.