CRIME
07/03/2013 04:28 pm ET

Sarai Sierra Murder Suspect Could Be Get Life Sentence If Convicted In Turkey: Report

AP

Turkish prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for the homeless man accused of bludgeoning to death a married mother of two while she vacationed in Istanbul.

Sarai Sierra, 33, of Staten Island, N.Y. was found dead on Feb. 2 in a rundown section of the ancient city. She traveled alone on a trip to develop her photography hobby.

The lead prosecutor alleges that Ziya Tasali, a transient who recycles scrap paper, hit her in the head with a rock and left her body stuffed in a crevice in the historic walls of the city.

In a video confession, Tasali said he became angered when Sierra wouldn't let him kiss her, the Staten Island Advance reports.

He also admitted in the footage that he was high from sniffing glue, according to a translation carried in an English-language publication in Turkey.

It took investigators more than a month to capture Tasali who was caught near the border with Syria.

Turkish media report that the prosecution in Istanbul wants a life sentence for Tasali for the alleged murder. He's also been charged with sexual assault and theft; those crimes carry a 14-year sentence if he's convicted, the Associated Press reports.

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