ST. CHARLES, Ill. (STMW) — A judge on Monday sentenced Delbert Cooper to 45 years in prison for the 2011 murder of Renee Perry in west suburban Aurora.

Cooper, 33, was convicted of Perry’s murder in January by a jury that needed about six hours to reach a verdict. Before issuing the prison sentence, Kane County Judge Clint Hull denied Cooper’s motion for a new trial. Cooper has been held in Kane County Jail since his arrest two days after Perry was strangled and stabbed inside her Second Avenue apartment in December 2011.

At trial, prosecutors described Cooper’s trouble with drugs and said an argument over his crack cocaine use prompted him to put 21-year-old Perry in a stranglehold.

Cooper also stabbed Perry and left her body on a bedroom floor under a pile of clothes where an Aurora police officer found her. Police went to the apartment when Perry’s mother became concerned after not hearing from her daughter.

Cooper countered with a self-defense claim, suggesting Perry went after him with a knife and that she was stabbed during a scuffle in which Cooper tried to take the knife away from her. Attorney Herbert Hill, in his opening statement, called Cooper remorseful.

Prosecutors bolstered their case with details of previous domestic incidents where Cooper choked a woman.

Cooper was wanted on a warrant at the time of Perry’s death after violating probation and failing to appear in court in connection to a felony domestic battery conviction involving Perry.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

A judge issued the warrant in July 2011, but Cooper was not arrested until police, investigating Perry’s murder, located him at an Aurora hospital after he claimed a suicide attempt.