WORCESTER - A Worcester man received a sentence of 17 to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Worcester Superior Court on Wednesday.
Sandra Hehir, 49, was found dead in her Congress St. apartment on Feb. 5, 2017. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the case to be a homicide by strangulation.
Worcester Police Detectives discovered DNA evidence at the scene that linked Jose Melendez, 60, of Worcester, to Hehir and the apartment. The plea agreement avoids an upcoming scheduled trial on murder charges. Melendez has been held without bail for over five years since his arrest.
Hehir was a Worcester Public Schools employees for over a decade. According to her obituary, she was a teacher, coach and an instructional aide, who last worked at Claremont Academy. She was born in Worcester and graduated from South High Community School and Worcester State University.