KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former Kansas City cab driver has pleaded guilty to strangling a woman 14 years ago after she couldn't pay her fare.
Lawrence E. Jensen is expected to receive a sentence of between 21 and 25 years for second-degree murder under the terms of his plea deal.
Jensen admitted Tuesday that he strangled 21-year-old Veronica Neverdusky in August 1993 and dumped her body in Kansas City's Penn Valley Park. Authorities have said Neverdusky was unable to pay her fare and that Jensen became upset with her.
Jensen, 57, gave no explanation during his plea.
Jensen's sister, Kit Roberts, said after the hearing that her brother is sorry for what happened.
"He's ashamed of it," she said. "He's very remorseful."
Jensen faces another murder charge for allegedly strangling another woman, Anita Fratzel, 27, in Kansas City, Kan. Fratzel's body was found two days before Neverdusky's.
According to police, Jensen disappeared after Neverdusky's slaying. Authorities say he showed up at a Nevada police station in May 2002 and reportedly confessed that he had "taken the lives of two innocent people" in the Kansas City area.
Kansas City detectives flew to Nevada, but Jensen was gone when they arrived. Nevada police had sent him to a mental facility to be evaluated, and the facility let him go.
The search for Jensen narrowed earlier this year, and police arrested him in Denver in March.
Neverdusky's daughter, Nakeisha Neverdusky, said she was glad that Jensen finally was brought to justice.
"I feel better knowing he's not walking," said the 17-year-old, who was 3 when her mother died.
Veronica Neverdusky, who had two other young children, sometimes worked as a prostitute. Veronica's Voice, an organization formed in 2000 to help prostitutes get off the streets, was named for her.
"She was just a great person, a very sweet girl who had her whole life ahead of her," said Kristy Childs, a friend who started the organization.
Childs said Neverdusky was a struggling parent forced into a tough lifestyle.