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Garrett County killer gets life without parole

OAKLAND — A Garrett County man has been sentenced to life without parole for fatally stabbing a friend in an apparent dispute over the victim’s girlfriend.

Forty-seven-year-old Jeffrey Minnick was sentenced Friday for the first-degree murder of 24-year-old Timothy Lax of Oakland.

Lax and 18-year-old Jessica Baker were stabbed to death May 31, 2011. Minnick entered Alford pleas in both cases, acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of two murders. But on Friday he withdrew his plea in the Baker case, and prosecutors dropped that charge.

Minnick claims he didn’t kill Baker. Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Welch says the state isn’t conceding on that point.

She says the sentence is more severe than the two life sentences, with the possibility of parole, that Minnick could have gotten.