ST. CLOUD -- A Paynesville man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his grandparents last March and then trying to burn their bodies to hide the crime.

A Stearns County judge sentenced 34-year-old Gregory Scheel to consecutive life terms for the murders of 93-year-old Wilbert Scheel and 80-year-old Gloria Scheel.  The sentence carries a mandatory 30-year prison term for each murder count before the opportunity for parole, but the two terms will be served consecutively meaning Scheel won't be eligible for parole until he is 94-years-old.

Scheel pleaded guilty to two counts of 1st-degree murder in August.

Gloria and Wilbert Scheel -- Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Gloria and Wilbert Scheel -- Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Court records show Scheel put a plastic bag over his grandfather's head and a ligature was used to tie the bag around his neck. He died from asphyxiation. The grandson then wrapped an extension cord around his grandmother's neck and strangled her. He drove the bodies to Kandiyohi County where he lit the car on fire.

The bodies of the Paynesville couple were found in their car along a rural road on March 22nd.

Gregory Scheel was arrested when he was spotted walking in the area. He had been living with his grandparents in the days leading up to their deaths.