updated 11/20/2008 4:47:43 PM ET 2008-11-20T21:47:43

A man convicted of killing and beheading a 3-year-old girl known as "Precious Doe" has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Harrell Johnson was convicted last month of first-degree murder, endangering the welfare of a child and abuse of a child in the 2001 slaying of Erica Green.

Life without parole was the only possible sentence that Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence could hand down.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, partly because Johnson agreed to withdraw his request to have the case moved out of Kansas City.

The 29-year-old was the boyfriend of the girl's mother at the time of the 2001 slaying in Kansas City.

The jury that convicted Johnson recommended a four-year sentence on the endangerment charge and 25 years on the abuse charge. Torrence followed the jury's recommendations.

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