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A Portland man will serve 28 years for strangling a woman he called “the love of my life.”

The Portland Press Herald reported that Gregory Vance, 62, said girlfriend Patricia Grassi was “my best friend, the love of my life, the girl of my dreams” before Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills sentenced him on Wednesday.

Gregory Vance Credit: Courtesy of Cumberland County Jail

Police found Grassi, 59, after knocking on the door at a Cumberland Avenue apartment Vance shared with her in March 2019. Officers had received no answer and were leaving when Vance’s son stopped them and said that his father telephoned him and confessed, CBS affiliate WGME reported.

Vance confessed again to the officers, saying that he strangled Grassi because she was “tormenting” and “slapping” him, court documents said.

The officers had gone to the apartment to check on Grassi.

Vance pleaded guilty in November 2019 but his sentencing was delayed by the pandemic.