MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state judge sentenced a man to 20 years and four months after he was convicted of beheading his girlfriend.

33-year-old Timothy Hernandez was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Vanessa Cons in August 2018.

Authorities say the couple and their two children were living in Mount Vernon when Hernandez stabbed Cons multiple times before cutting off her head.

Prosecutors said they believe the younger child was in the room at the time of the killing and the older child found the body.

A court order forbids Hernandez from communication with the children until they turn 18.

The Cons family was awarded custody of the children this week.

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