Fourth District Judge Timothy Hansen sentenced Thomas Lee Herman on Tuesday for the March 5 death of Mamokete Folkes, 46, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Hansen called Folkes' murder a "horrible and vicious killing" and said Herman showed an "utter disregard for human life."
The judge said the only way he could protect society from Herman was to sentence him to prison for the rest of his life.
Herman did not speak at the hearing, but in a letter to the Statesman wrote: "I have great remorse for my actions that occurred early in the morning hours in that ... motel."
He added that he called 911 and never denied the crime.
Prosecutors said Herman, 56, had been released from a mental hospital about three weeks before he met Folkes, who had been living on the streets becauyse of her own mental health issues.
She stayed with Herman for three nights at the motel before he got mad and stomped her to death, court records said.
"He finished his drink before calling 911, while she lay dying on the floor," deputy Ada County prosecutor George Gunn told the judge.
At the time, Herman was on unsupervised probation for a December 2012 knife attack on another woman at a different Boise motel.
Herman served 13 years in prison for burglary, theft, sexual battery and other crimes in Utah and was released in June 2010.
Defense attorney Reed Smith said his client is not a monster.
"He's someone who has been institutionalized and can't live in society," Smith said, noting Herman has been in and out of jail since 1974.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com
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