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Published: Thursday, 5/20/2004

Killer of Oregon girl gets life sentence

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Gary Deal, holding back tears as he described the night he found out his daughter had been murdered, said Christina Deal's daughter, Malachi, will grow up never knowing her mother.

"I would have never imagined a second life sentence pronounced," Mr. Deal said. "The first life sentence was on Sept. 28, 2003 [when we found out about our life] without Christina, but more importantly, Malachi's life without her mother."

Joseph A. Amador, 21, of 269 Steel St., was given the mandatory life sentence with eligibility for parole in 15 years by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Jensen for the murder.

"The second life sentence is for you, Andy, for the heinous way you stole the life of our daughter," Mr. Deal said.

Even though Judge Jensen was required to give the sentence as part of a plea agreement reached May 10, Ms. Deal's family members said the pain of the murder has hardly subsided.

Joseph Amador slashed Christina Deal's throat last year. Joseph Amador slashed Christina Deal's throat last year.
HIRES / BLADE Enlarge

The body of Ms. Deal, of Oregon, was found Sept. 28 at the empty industrial park off Wynn Road, near Corduroy Road, with her throat slashed. Ms. Deal and Amador had dated, but prosecutors said she broke off the relationship before the murder.

In a brief statement, Amador apologized to the Deal family and his family.

"The most important person I need to apologize to is no longer with us," Amador said. "I'm ready for the sentence you will give me."

Amador's attorney, Ronnie Wingate, said his client loved Ms. Deal, and he would be the first to undo the crime if it was possible.

Amador's family members sat in the back of the courtroom and left without comment.

"There are losses to both families," Mr. Wingate said. "This incident is not the sum total of who [Amador] is or what he's about."

Mr. Deal read a emotion-filled letter from Ms. Deal's sister, Pricilla Deal, in which she said the murder left her not only without a sister, but also a best friend.

"I want you to understand how it feels to have your heart so overwhelmed with pain that you think you will die because it hurts so much," Pricilla Deal said in her letter. "I want you to know how it feels to see a mother plead with God to give her daughter, her baby, back."

Mr. Deal said Amador deserved the toughest sentence because of the crime's violence.

Prosecutors said Ms. Deal suffered two slash wounds on her neck and had defensive wounds on her arm and thumb. She was stabbed in the shoulder and the back.

A gym bag containing surgical gloves, the knife used in the stabbing, and the defendant's shoes, shirt, and trousers, all of which were stained with the victim's blood, was found in Amador's home.

Prosecutors said Ms. Deal ended their relationship.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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