SAN MARCOS, Texas -

A 30-year-old man in Central Texas has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his girlfriend with a belt and rocks and using a box cutter to carve into her face and slit her throat.

A Hays County jury deliberated Thursday only 20 minutes before convicting Zane Lynn Barton of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Evidence showed the attack occurred last year in San Marcos.

Prosecutors say he cut X's into the woman's face and hands and that she convinced him to let her get medical help by promising to blame the attack on a stranger. She subsequently told police Barton was her assailant.

The Austin American-Statesman reports a physician testified her wounds missed being fatal by just a millimeter or two.