A Pennsylvania inmate convicted of escaping from jail and killing an acquaintance while on the run has been sentenced to life in prison.

Thirty-nine-year-old Robert Crissman Jr. was given the mandatory life sentence Tuesday in Armstrong County. He was convicted last month of first- and second-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Tammy Long.

But Crissman angered Long's family by saying he "liked her" and had "nothing to do with" strangling her a short time after escaping from the county jail on July 30.

Crissman was behind bars for a parole violation. He was working as an inmate trustee who was allowed outside the jail to remove inmate food trays from a vendor's truck. Investigators later determined he shouldn't have had that job because he with withdrawing from heroin use.