A Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday found Michael Coker, 50, guilty of second-degree murder for the strangulation death of Janet Phinney in the Grove on March 18, 1988, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
The verdict means a life sentence, but with the possibility of parole in as little as 15 years.
Prosecutors proved that a spurned Coker strangled Phinney, then left her body in a wooded area behind Cedar Road.
Before sentencing, Phinney's brother, Robert, read a statement:
Janet was the baby girl in the family of seven kids. She was vivacious and her personality was extraordinary. Each of us hold our own special memory of Janet [but] there are 12 nieces and nephews who will never have the privilege of their own memories of their aunt ... She will never have the chance to have her own family and share in ours. She has missed 24 Christmases, 24 Easters, 24 Thanksgivings, and 591 family birthdays to this date. A piece of us all died that day and we will never be the same.