FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - A Senegalese migrant was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday for the murder of Ashley Olsen, a U.S. woman who was killed in the Tuscan city of Florence in January.

Diaw Cheik Tidianee, 27, was arrested by police on Jan. 14, five days after Olsen's body was found dead in her apartment. An autopsy revealed she had been strangled and also had two fractures to her skull.

Florence prosecutors said Tidianee had met the 35-year-old Olsen in a local nightclub and that the two had consensual sex in her home under the influence of alcohol, and possibly drugs, before he killed her.

He denied murdering her, telling investigators that he had pushed her and that she had hit her head when she fell over.


Olsen came from Florida and had been living in Florence for three years before her death. Friends said she had moved to Italy to join her father Walter Olsen, who was teaching in the city.

The case attracted considerable international media attention and investigators were keen to avoid any repeat of the drawn-out saga that followed the 2007 killing of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, not far from Florence.

Kercher's American flatmate Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend spent almost four years in prison for the crime before finally being acquitted last year by Italy's highest appeals court.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Tom Heneghan)