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After 24 years, Georgia inmate pleads guilty to killing his neighbor

A Middle Georgia man already in prison for rape has gained another life sentence for strangling his next-door neighbor in her bathtub almost 24 years ago.

Homer Ridley III, 43, pleaded guilty Friday to avoid the death sentence. He now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

In 1994, 20-year-old Summer Gleaton’s body was found in her bathtub with her wrists and ankles bound, the Macon Telegraph reported. Gleaton had reportedly been arguing with her boyfriend that day before going to Ridley’s house to call for help. Her mother later found her dead.

After her boyfriend was cleared as a suspect, police looked at Ridley, but they couldn’t find enough evidence to charge him, according to the Telegraph.

However, police did have DNA evidence linked to Ridley on the green shoelaces used to bind Gleaton and the sweatpants he used to strangle her, the Telegraph reported.

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Ridley had been serving a life sentence for a 1988 rape. He was first convicted in 1995, but that conviction was overturned four years later. In 2006, he was found guilty again.

Ridley was also indicted but never prosecuted for the murder of his sister-in-law. Ledia Olivera, 19, was raped and strangled in 1992, the Telegraph reported. The case against Ridley was dropped due to lack of evidence.

In all of those crimes, the women’s young children were in the home but were not harmed.

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