Man sentenced for killing former nun

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Updated: 8/29 5:23 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A guilty plea in the 2012 death of a former nun has a Schenectady man going to prison.

Michael Briggs killed 82-year-old Mary Greco while robbing her Standford Street apartment in 2012. Police say Greco was a retired nun, and her neighbors describe her as a kind and caring person.Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said that police discovered something unusual in the bathroom of Mary Greco's Stanford Street home which led them to Briggs. They say a toilet seat was up.

Greco lived alone, so police decided to check the seat for fingerprints and they found prints that matched Briggs.

Carney also said that the most powerful evidence that linked him to the murder was his DNA that was intermixed with the victim's blood in multiple locations on the blanket that he had draped over her body. 

He said that DNA evidence proves Briggs stabbed and choked the woman who had paid him to shovel her car out if snow -- and gave him cookies.

Briggs pleaded guilty in March to second degree murder and attempted burglary charges, but later said he was coerced into that plea and told the judge he wanted to take his case to trial. The judge decided to not accept his change of plea.

Prior to his sentencing, Briggs was given the chance to address the court, where he again said he was not responsible and that he was sorry the lady passed.

But the judge had choice words for him, saying she had to respectfully disagree, and that the evidence is overwhelming.

He was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison -- 25 years for the murder, 5 for the burglary charge.

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