The North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the murder conviction of former Marine Cesar Laurean in the 2007 death of his pregnant comrade, Maria Lauterbach.
The decision, filed Tuesday, was unanimous.
Laurean's lawyers tried to overturn his conviction by arguing to the Appeals Court that the judge should have allowed the jury to consider a lesser offense of second degree murder.
Both Laurean and Lauterbach were Camp Lejeune Marines. Prosecutors say he killed the woman in his Onslow County home and then buried her body in a fire pit in his backyard.
Laurean fled Onslow County hours before the missing woman's body was found. He was arrested three months later in his native Mexico after an international manhunt.
A jury sentenced Laurean to life in prison in August 2010.
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