Deniz Aydiner pleads no contest, gets life sentence

Deniz Aydiner pleads no contest, gets life sentence
- By Brian Barker
and KATU Web Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - The man accused of murdering a young woman at the University of Portland in 2001 pleaded no contest to the killing on Friday and was sentenced to life in prison.

Deniz Aydiner had been accused of murdering Kate Johnson, whose body was found inside her dormitory room at the University of Portland on May 29, 2001. She had been brutally assaulted and strangled the night before.

It took investigators two and a half years to make an arrest in the case. The break came when test results from DNA evidence showed a match to Deniz Aydiner, a Turkish national.

Aydiner was arrested at Portland International Airport in January 2004 while returning from a trip to Turkey.

Up until now, Aydiner's plea was not guilty, but this week word came out that he planned on changing that plea to guilty.

Aydiner will be eligible for parole in 35 years at the age of 67. If he gets out, he would be immediately deported to Turkey and never allowed to return to the United States.