Man pleads guilty to motel murder, sentenced to life

Man pleads guilty to motel murder, sentenced to life

James Ambrose

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 9:18 AM

BURLEY, Idaho -- A former handyman charged with killing the owner of a southern Idaho motel and hiding his body in a motel's crawlspace has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to life in prison.

James Duane Ambrose pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the death of his boss, 54-year-old Russ Taft. Taft suffered head injuries and was stabbed in the heart. His body was discovered in the crawlspace of the Alpine Garden Inn in Burley in May 2012.

Ambrose also pleaded guilty to grand theft for stealing Taft's car.

District Judge Michael Crabtree sentenced Ambrose on Tuesday to 30 years to life.

The sentence will run consecutive to a 22 years to life prison sentence Ambrose received in Nevada in April for carjacking an 86-year-old woman in Las Vegas in May 2012.

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