Woman pleads guilty to robbery-killing of 84-year-old widow

Local News

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 32-year-old Las Vegas woman has admitted killing an 84-year-old widow nearly four years ago in a plea deal that is expected to get her 20-to-50 years in state prison.

Margarita Balandova pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder in an agreement with prosecutors that avoids trial and the possibility of life in prison for the stabbing death of her neighbor, Mary Luebeck.

Robbery, home invasion, burglary and arson charges were dropped. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 1.

Luebeck’s daughter found her mother’s body in July 2015 in the townhome where she lived alone after her husband died the previous year.

Police said Balandova smashed a rear sliding-glass door to enter, and coins, jewelry and a phone were taken.

Investigators said Balandova tried unsuccessfully to ignite a fire before fleeing the townhome.

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