SALT LAKE CITY -- The man who admitted to killing a 25-year-old Layton woman a year ago has been sentenced to serve 15 years to life in Utah State Prison.
The body of Jessica Irene Jensen was found at the Capitol Motel in Salt Lake City on June 2 after a guest who checked into the room complained of a foul odor.
Police arrested Thomas Kumalac, 27, as he was trying to enter Wendover, Nev., and he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder on Jan. 20.
Kumalac, who has been held in Salt Lake County Jail since his arrest, was sentenced to prison Monday.
Third District Judge Judith Atherton will recommend to the Board of Pardons that Kumalac never be released, according to the court website.
Police say Kumalac admitted he was inspired by the horror film "Hostel" when he tried to drown Jensen in a toilet. He also stabbed her 15 times and then slept in the same room with her body for several days before checking out of the motel, they say.
In letters to the court, family members described Jensen as someone who loved life and always saw the good in others. They also wrote that her bipolar disorder often caused her to make wrong choices and that Kumalac robbed Jensen's 5-year-old daughter of a mother.
Jensen was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 16, her family said, but she battled to gain control of it.
Jensen was a cheerleader at Layton High School during her sophomore year.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.