NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) -- A Joplin man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for beating his girlfriend's mother to death a week after he was kicked out of her home.
The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/TmDsXo) reports 41-year-old Gerald L. Brown was sentenced Friday for killing 63-year-old Alicia Ball in Joplin on Dec. 13, 2011.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in Newton County prior to sentencing after initially being charged with first-degree murder.
Investigators say Brown struck Ball -- the grandmother of his 2-year-old daughter -- three times on the head with a vase and a brick wrapped in a pillow case and towels.
Ball had filed a complaint with Joplin police five days before she died accusing Brown of taking her debit card to steal about $1,200.
Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com