An Ajo man convicted of murdering a 7-year-old girl in 2009 was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini sentenced Kyle Alegria, 23, to spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Rhia Almeida.

In November, a jury found Alegria guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor under the age of 15.

Alegria also received 35 years to life in prison on the sexual-contact charge and 17 years for kidnapping.

He had faced the death penalty, but the jury that convicted him decided against it after hearing a week of mitigation arguments.

According to authorities, Alegria stabbed and beat the girl to death when she went to the Ajo home where he lived with his parents to visit his younger brother.

After killing her, Alegria left Rhia’s body in the wash next to his house, authorities said.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or On Twitter @pm929.