A southern New Jersey man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing a former star softball player.

Stephen Headley (Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office)

Stephen Headley of Florence must serve 85 percent of the term imposed Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty in July to first-degree murder charges.

The 30-year-old Headley admitted stabbing 22-year-old Nicole Ayres several times in the face, torso and back in September 2010 after they argued at a convenience store.

Her body was found near an athletic field in rural Southampton Township, south of Trenton.

Nicole Ayres was a former high school and college softball star from Deptford who had only known Headley a short time. Neither Headley nor prosecutors have disclosed what they argued about.

Headley initially was offered a 30-year sentence, but a judge rejected that after Ayres's family objected.

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