READING, Pa.—An eastern Pennsylvania man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the murder of a woman shot to death 5 1/2 years ago as her two young daughters slept nearby.

Berks County Judge Paul Yatron convicted 37-year-old Cory Lee Vankeuren on Wednesday after a two-day bench trial in the January 2007 slaying of 20-year-old Audrey Giannotti.

Authorities alleged that Vankeuren killed the victim in the basement of a Laureldale home because she had rejected his romantic overtures.

The defendant was arrested in March of last year after investigators said they linked his gun to the murder.

Assistant District Attorney David Goldberg called a number of witnesses who said Vankeuren confessed to the slaying

He faces a mandatory life prison term without possibility of parole when he is sentenced Oct. 17.