Maine’s highest court is affirming a jury’s ruling that a pawn shop owner killed a woman in 1998 in northern Maine.

George Jaime Sr. of Presque Isle was sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing Starlette Vining, burning her body and disposing her ashes in a river. He was charged with the murder in 2012. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment on Tuesday.

Vining was in a relationship with Jaime and worked at a grocery store in Presque Isle when she stopped coming to work in 1998. She was known to move frequently and wasn’t reported missing until eight years later.

Jaime’s appeal argued the court abused its discretion by preventing him from presenting evidence that would have implicated his son as an alternative suspect.