SHELBY, N.C. -- The man convicted of raping and murdering an elderly woman was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole on Tuesday.

A Cleveland County jury found Donald Borders guilty yesterday of raping and killing 79-year-old Margaret Tessneer in 2003.
The jury has found Borders guilty on all three counts against him: first degree murder, first degree rape and felony breaking and entering.

Attorney David Teddy unsuccessfully filed a last minute motion earlier this month to try to convince Superior Court Judge Richard Boner to allow for a change of venue.

An autopsy showed Tessneer was badly bruised on her chest, abdomen, upper arms, legs and feet. Officials said the number and color of the bruises indicated a struggle, but they couldn t determine a cause of death.

Borders, of Cherryville, has been linked to the mysterious deaths of two other elderly women around the same time of Tessneer's death.

The Cleveland County Medical examiner, however, did not rule the 2003 deaths of 85-year-old Lottie Mae Ledford nor 87-year-old Lillian Mullinax as a homicide.

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