Va. woman enters plea in cane-beating death case

October 19, 2011 3:50:42 AM PDT
A 29-year-old Virginia woman faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to fatally beating her 77-year-old boyfriend with his own cane.

According to media reports, Kristina N. Pongracz entered her plea to second-degree murder Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court. Investigators say Pongracz beat William Herchenrider with his cane on May 4, 2010. He survived the initial beating but died months later.

Police say Pongracz beat Herchenrider because he wanted to kick her out of his home.

Pongracz's plea came on the day she was to stand trial. A judge ordered a presentencing report.

The charge carries a five- to 40-year prison term and a fine of up to $100,000.