A Camden man who confessed that he killed a Pennsauken High School student nearly eight years ago after she refused to have sex with him was sentenced Friday to 20 years in state prison.

Warren Dixon, 25, charged after a lengthy and painstaking probe by county detectives and local police, admitted to authorities that he strangled Sherita Williams and left her body under the 36th Street Bridge in Pennsauken on Nov. 29, 2003.

Williams was 16 at the time.

In imposing the sentence, Camden County Superior Court Judge Samuel Natal said, "I can think of no crime more terrifying to the community than the homicide of a young woman during the course of an attempt to sexually assault her."

Authorities said Williams was walking home from her boyfriend's house when she was confronted by Dixon, a fellow student at Pennsauken High.

Dixon pleaded guilty in March to aggravated manslaughter and attempted sexual assault. He had a previous conviction for drug dealing.

Contact staff writer George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or ganastasia@phillynews.com.