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In a few days, 31 year old Joshua Jokinen was to go on trial for the beating death of Carolyn Burdick.

 

But Wednesday he changed his plea to guilty.

 

Deschutes County Judge Alta Brady sentenced Jokinen to life in prison.  It will be at least 25 years before he's eligible for parole.

 

In court, Jokinen apologized to Burdick's famly for the pain he's caused.

 

District Attorney Patrick Flaherty says Jokinen changed his plea not because of a plea bargain, but rather to improve his chances of eventually leaving prison.  His eligibility for parole is greatly enhanced if he entered a guilty plea now.

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