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Jury recommends 10 years for man who punched, killed woman

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 08:30:41-04

A jury is recommending a 10-year prison sentence after convicting a northern Virginia man of murder for punching and killing a woman in a convenience-store argument.

Twenty-seven-year-old Robert Coleman of Alexandria was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder. A judge will sentence Coleman in May. He can impose a sentence no higher than the jury's recommendation.

Prosecutors said Coleman and victim Fidelia Montiel-Benitez were strangers when they got into an argument at an Alexandria convenience store. Surveillance video shows the argument and depicts Coleman following his victim outside and punching her.

Prosecutors say she was knocked unconscious, struck her head and died.

The Washington Post reports that Coleman says he became enraged after Montiel-Benitez called him the n-word. Prosecutors said she didn't speak English well enough to use the slur.