A man who killed his ex-girlfriend and left her 4-year-old daughter wandering the streets of New York was sentenced Wednesday to 32 years in prison.

Cesar Ascarrunz, 32, pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter and reckless endangerment, admitting he killed Monica Lozada-Rivadineira and left her daughter, Valery Belen Saavedra Lozada, barefoot and alone in the middle of the night.

A murder verdict could have carried a life sentence.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the plea deal spared Valery "the emotional trauma of having to testify about the events surrounding her abandonment and the death of her mother."

The little girl drew national attention after child welfare workers put her on television in an attempt to track down her family. The chubby-cheeked child innocently described her 26-year-old mother as looking "like a princess."

Investigators found Lozada-Rivadineira's body in a Pennsylvania landfill a few days later. The young girl is now living with relatives.