Eric Lau gets 22 years in teacher's killing

June 22, 2012 10:01:55 AM PDT
A man with a history of mental illness was sentenced to 22 years in prison Friday for murdering the schoolteacher who was his next-door neighbor.

After a long debate over his fitness for trial, Eric Lau admitted in April that he beat and stabbed 32-year-old Jami Erlich in her Valley Cottage apartment in 2009.

For most of the time since the killing, the 34-year-old Lau has been treated by psychiatrists. At competency hearings, doctors differed on whether he should be tried.

Just days after a judge finally ruled Lau fir for trial, he pleaded guilty.

The motive for the killing has never been clear. A friend of Erlich said she turned down Lau's requests for a date and considered him creepy.

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