A Palm Desert man who murdered a 36-year-old North Palm Springs woman in a drug deal gone bad will spend the rest of his life in prison, with no chance of parole, a judge ruled Friday.
Sean Michael Mihajson, 24, was 18 when he killed North Palm Springs resident Shalonda Morris Oct. 12, 2007, according to prosecutors.
The victim had planned to buy marijuana from the convicted murderer but it turned into a robbery and murder, law enforcement and prosecutors said.
The jury, which took a Christmas break, spent about two days deliberating before returning a verdict Dec. 27.
Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation that Mihajson committed murder during commission of a robbery.
The convicted felon's twin, Vanesa Michelle Mihajson, 24, was convicted Oct. 4 of being an accessory for helping her brother hide the crime.
She was sentenced to three years probation and 120 hours of community service.
Morris, who also went by the name of "Shay,'' was last seen leaving her home on Oct. 12, 2007 to meet Mihajson at his Palm Desert condominium, according to Deputy District Attorney Pete Nolan.
Her remains were never found.
Elmer Morris said at Friday's sentencing that since the day his daughter
disappeared, "there was no doubt that yes, something had happened to her.''
Morris said he and his family hope to be able to give her a proper burial, even as Mihajson gets to live.
He could have received the death penalty, had the District Attorney's office elected to seek it.
"He does have his life ... I hope he has time to reflect and think,'' Morris said.
The prosecution told jurors that the victim and a man named John Delgadillo were both cancer patients and had prescriptions from doctors for medical marijuana.
The two had planned to pool their money to buy a pound of pot but Delgadillo backed out of the deal and the victim withdrew more than $7,000 from the bank, according to Nolan.
City News Service contributed to this story.