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Man gets life for murdering teen prostitute | News

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Man gets life for murdering teen prostitute

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A man was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison for murdering a teenage prostitute.

A Cobb County jury deliberated less than three hours last month before finding Ricardo Laron Harris guilty of killing 19-year-old Yvonne Denise James. The victim died in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2013, inside her room at the Howard Johnson Inn Marietta on Delk Road.

"No family should ever have to endure what this one did -- learning the details of their 19-year-old loved one's brutal death at the hands of a serial predator with a history of violence toward women," Cobb County Deputy Chief ADA Jesse Evans said. "But they were thankful that the system worked here and that in all likelihood Ricardo Harris will never be able to do this to another human being."

Harris, 35, of Rochester, N.Y., was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery and concealing a death. Prosecutors said he hired James for sex, then beat and drowned her. He was inside James' motel room for about 90 minutes before calling 911.

Evans described Harris as "a violent serial offender with a long documented history of assaulting and beating women."

"I credit Marietta Police detectives for their hard work and dedication on what proved to be a very challenging investigation," Evans said.

During Friday's sentencing hearing, the victim's mother and cousin spoke on behalf of the family, telling the court about James' love of life.

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