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Jasmine Pierce-Morris, 20, right, at a Thanksgiving event with a mentor in 2013. Pierce-Morris' ex-boyfriend was sentenced Friday to 43 years in prison for killing her.
Jasmine Pierce-Morris, 20, right, at a Thanksgiving event with a mentor in 2013. Pierce-Morris' ex-boyfriend was sentenced Friday to 43 years in prison for killing her. (Handout)

A judge sentenced Christopher Rather to 43 years in prison for stabbing and strangling his ex-girlfriend on the football bleachers of a Northeast Baltimore high school, the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office said Friday.

A neighbor was walking her dogs last June when she found the body of Jasmine Pierce-Morris slumped on the bleachers of the practice football field for Reginald F. Lewis High School, police and prosecutors said. She had been beaten and bound with ropes.

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The 20-year-old woman had a fractured skull and was repeatedly stabbed in her neck, according to autopsy results. Doctors also found tiny hemorrhages, indicating she had been strangled.

Rather, 23, was convicted by a jury in July of second-degree murder and a weapons charge in the case. State’s attorney spokeswoman Zy Richardson said Judge Jennifer Schiffer handed Rather the maximum sentence — 43 years.

Detectives started investigating Rather, Pierce-Morris’ ex-boyfriend, soon after finding a text message she’d sent to a friend.

“Soooo, Chris wanted to talk to me today right. I’m meeting him at this football field. I think this goin be our last conversation,” she wrote, according to police. “He told me he was leaving, might be going to California or Hawaii. Imma find out when he get here but ain’t that good news?!?”

Within days of the killing, police raided Rather’s home and arrested him.

Friends and family remember the young woman for her love of poetry and drama. Two years before her death, Pierce-Morris became a member of the first graduating class of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.

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