HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Texas jury has returned a 27-year prison sentence for a 39-year-old man who at one time taped an interview with “Dr. Phil” claiming he didn’t kill his girlfriend.

The Harris County jury also fined Mark Castellano $10,000 on Friday after convicting him of murder Thursday.

Castellano could have drawn up to life in prison. Prosecutors say he choked 31-year-old Michelle Warner during a September 2012 argument at their Houston apartment, drove her body to West Texas and dumped it in a shallow grave near Midland.

In 2012, Castellano taped a segment for Phil McGraw’s nationally syndicated program, in which he said Warner walked from their apartment after an argument and disappeared. Dr. Phil airs on CBS 11 weekdays at 3 p.m.

Castellano later told police he was responsible for Warner’s death and gave several versions of what happened.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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