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Judge sentences McVay to death for murder

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A judge in Sioux Falls has formally sentenced a man to death for killing a woman as part of a plot to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Judge Peter Lieberman on Tuesday sentenced 44-year-old James McVay. A 12-member jury earlier had voted unanimously for a death sentence.

McVay would have been sentenced to life in prison without parole if the jury's decision had not been unanimous.

McVay pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder in the 2011 stabbing of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein. McVay said he killed Schein and stole her car as part of his plan to drive to Washington and kill the president. He was later arrested in Wisconsin.

Schein's family declined to speak during the hearing.

McVay's sentence will be automatically reviewed by the state Supreme Court.