The beating Aaron Jones inflicted on Jeffrey Patterson was among the most brutal and vicious crimes Judge James Jensen said he has come across during his 15 years on the bench.
Jones' violent actions in repeatedly hitting the harmless and defenseless victim on the head with a claw hammer show the characteristics of a monster, Judge Jensen said Wednesday at Jones' sentencing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
The crime was done by "a person who has no conscience or respect for human life," he said.
Jones, 20, received the mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison for the murder of Mr. Patterson, 49, who was found beaten June 20, 2009, at the entrance of a South Toledo mobile home park.
Judge Jensen also imposed a nine-year sentence for aggravated robbery and ordered it to run concurrently with the murder conviction. Prosecutors said Jones took the victim's bank card.
A jury convicted Jones of 569 Church St. of the crimes July 14. He was arrested Aug. 27, 2009, at his home after police spent more than two months investigating leads.
Shortly after the slaying, the family offered a $5,000 reward in hopes of urging witnesses to come forward.
Mr. Patterson's sister, Lisa Brazeau, spoke in the courtroom on behalf of her family about the impact the murder has had on their lives.
She openly wept as she told Judge Jensen about the family's grief and how much his violent death has weighed on their minds in the last 14 months.
"We all miss him very much," she said. "We cannot talk about his life without thinking about his tragic death."
As he had done at his trial, Jones Wednesday maintained that he was innocent but did make a statement to the victim's family.
"I send my condolences out to the victim's family. I am sorry for their loss," he said.
Nicole Khoury, the defendant's attorney, said Jones never knew his parents and was bounced around the foster care system.
"He never had a chance at all," she said. "He never had an opportunity to really make anything of himself. There was nobody there to look up to."
Judge Jensen said if Jones had an "ounce of compassion for human life," he would have made an anonymous call to get medical help for Mr. Patterson after the beating instead of allowing him to die a slow death.
"But you did not. You merciless and brutally took a human life, [and] for what? A few dollars," he said.
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