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March 22--  A 33-year-old ex-convict is going back to jail for a long time for killing 75-year-old Marie Warnock of Vidalia in December, 2015.

Mrs. Warnock was killed in the parking lot of Chatters Restaurant in Lyons during an attempted robbery. 

acostaAccording to Assistant Chief District Attorney Tripp Fitzner, Carlito Soldiew-Acosta, a native of Puerto Rico, will spend the next 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. 

He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kathy Palmer after entering a guilty plea to malice murder Thursday in Toombs County Superior Court.

Acosta had been out of jail for less than a month and was homeless at the time he struck Mrs. Warnock in the head with some kind of club which Fitzner says has never been recovered.

He was released from Telfair State Prison November 14, 2015 where he was served a 12 year sentence for burglary in Long County in 2004.

Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker released the following statement following the sentencing of Acosta.

"On December 1, 2015, Lyons Police Department was called to the scene of a homicide, the first since my appointment as Chief. It was obvious by evidence at the scene it was not an accident. I called for the assistance of every agency that could help with the investigation. Everyone I spoke with was more than willing to help. Once assembled this team quickly put a plan into action and within a few hours had a suspect. With help from the community and tirelessly working around the clock, we had enough evidence to place the suspect in custody. Many agencies assisted in building our case and after a lengthy investigation, there is closure to this heinous crime.

"On March 21, 2019, Carleto Soldiew-Acosta plead guilty to the murder of Marie Warnock and was sentenced to life in prison. This could not have happened without the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement in our community. This was a successful prosecution and I hope that it brings some relief to the family and friends of Mrs. Warnock. My heart and prayers go out to those individuals for their loss.

"The Lyons Police Department cannot take all the credit for this success. I would like to thank all the agencies that put in so many hours working with us on this case: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney Hayward Altman and his staff. Let’s hope that our community can heal from the loss of such a wonderful lady."

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