NEWARK — A man who admitted killing his wife-to-be and her dog because he was ashamed to tell the woman he'd lost his job was sentenced to more than three decades in New Jersey State Prison on Thursday, all while another murder case against him is pending.

Lamont Stephenson, now 46, had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for nearly five years following the strangulation deaths of both Olga "Ivy" DeJesus and the dog, named Lola, in DeJesus' Newark home on Oct. 17, 2014. He pleaded guilty in June to first-degree murder, for which he was sentenced to 30 years' prison time, and animal cruelty, for which he got an additional 18 months.

In a release late Thursday, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Stephenson went on the run after killing DeJesus and Lola and was apprehended in March 2019 by police in Prince George's County, Maryland, charged with the slaying of a new girlfriend, 40-year-old Natina Kiah of Washington, D.C., as well as her cat.

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Police said Stephenson was living under an assumed name at a homeless shelter when he met Kiah, who was a security guard at that facility.

In his guilty plea in the DeJesus case, according to prosecutors, Stephenson said he had been fired from his job at Pep Boys but continued to pretend to go to work, strangling DeJesus when he could not bring himself to tell her the truth.

The terms to which Stephenson was sentenced for killing DeJesus and Lola are to be served consecutively, without the possibility of parole.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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