A man who suffocated his pregnant girlfriend after a deliberate crash went badly, confessed to murder. Allegedly, the Pennsylvania man was abusive in the past, and had recently learned about her pregnancy.
Police say Benjamin Klinger, 21, confessed to killing Samantha “Sammi” Heller, 17, on December 4, 2012 in an attempted car crash at speeds over 100-mph.
Friday, a judge handed the man a sentence from 28 to 56 years for suffocating his girlfriend after deliberately crashing the vehicle into a guardrail along a stretch of roadway in Rapho Township, according to LancasterOnline.
In the presence of the deceased girl’s parents, step-parents and other members of the Heller family, Klinger offered an apology after showing signs of remorse.
I accept full responsibility for the loss of a very special person. I want you to know with all my heart I’m sorry… really sorry.”
Heller was Sandy McFalls’ only child. When she learned about the man’s confession to killing his girlfriend after intentionally crashing the car, she agreed to the terms of the sentence.
Holding back tears, the distraught mom read a statement in court and said after her daughter died, she felt like a “prisoner” in her own home.
I want you to have nothing else to do (in prison) but think about how you took her life and destroyed ours.”
Two years ago, Klinger drove west on Route 283 at a high rate of speed in the early morning hours on that fateful day. Just west of Strickler Road, the man deliberately crashed a 1986 Toyota Celica into a guardrail at 115-mph. Accident investigators said there were no visible signs of braking on the road before impact.
A passerby arrived on the scene moments later and called 911 after witnessing Klinger outside the car sitting on Heller’s head as if he were intentionally trying to suffocate the badly injured woman, whose moans could be heard in an audio of the emergency call.
The chilling sounds of “get off of me” were heard on the 911 audio transcript, and police testified that when they arrived on the scene, they saw Klinger’s body on top of the face-down woman.
Officers said he appeared to be going in and out of consciousness while re-positioning his body on his girlfriend’s head several times. Later, doctors said the girl’s boyfriend was faking the fainting spells.
An autopsy was performed, and the cause of death was said to be from trauma suffered in the accident as well as asphyxia. Simply put, she was deliberately suffocated to death at the hands of her boyfriend after he intentionally crashed the car.
Those close to Heller said for two years, she and her boyfriend fought and called things off at times. Allegedly, Klinger was verbally and physically abusive to the teen, and threw her down a flight of stairs in a fit of anger in the past.
Her mom said her daughter began to be a recluse and withdrew from family and friends. Moreover, the volatile relationship caused her to struggle in school. The ongoing domestic violence eventually took its toll.
Despite her rocky road with her boyfriend, she still had big dreams of becoming a veterinary assistant and enrolling at Lancaster Career and Technology Center soon. The girl’s mom said she and the family did everything they could to sway her away from Klinger, to no avail. And even after he drove over her foot after another fit of rage, she still forgave him and stayed in the relationship.
Sources say Heller had just told friends and Klinger she was pregnant. However, court documents do not show if the baby was for her boyfriend or if she was with child at all.
There is some speculation the man suffocated his girlfriend after the deliberate crash because he was not prepared to be a father. However, this has not been confirmed.
[Image via GeorgiaNewsday]