LA CROSSE, Wis. -

The man convicted of killing a La Crosse mother earlier this year was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday in La Crosse County court.

A jury found Izelia Golatt, 45, guilty of killing Kristen Rodgers, 35, back in September. Her body was found in a northside parking lot in March.

A medical examiner testified that Rodgers was strangled. Friday in court the victim's family asked for the maximum sentence, although Golatt maintained his innocence.

"I did not take your daughter from you, I sit before you and tell you to your face, I did not take your baby from you," said Golatt.

Kristen's mother offered her own emotional testimony in court.

"Mr. Golatt, you took my daughter away from me, I plead with Judge Horne for life without parole, while in prison I hope you think of Kristen every day of your earthly life," said Kathy Tabbert.

A benefit honoring Rodgers will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Robin's Nest, 328 Goddard St. in La Crosse. The event will honor her life. Proceeds will benefit a fund that will help others battling addiction.

There will also be children's games, raffles, a bake sale, karaoke and live music at 8 p.m. There will be a balloon release during the event honoring her birthday which is Nov. 19th.