It was an emotional exchange Monday morning in a Mahoning County courtroom as a judge handed down a murder sentence.
The victim’s wife and others spoke out about the brutal killing of a man while he slept.
Judge Scott Krichbaum sentenced Gregory James to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 42 years in prison for killing Ronald Lewis in March 2017.
He called James not a murderer but an executioner.
“Now the title for you is ‘inmate’ for the rest of your life,” Judge Krichbaum said.
A jury found James guilty last week of all charges, including aggravated murder, burglary and witness intimidation. Police say James forced his way into Lewis’s home on Atkinson Avenue and shot him as he slept next to his wife.
Lewis’ wife, Tracey, was shot multiple times as well. She read a letter Monday at the hearing.
“It has been over a year, and I still don’t sleep most nights, because I anticipate someone to be standing in my bedroom doorway,” she said. “I still have to walk with a cane occasionally and was told I am today good as I’ll physically be.”
Prosecutors say James killed Lewis because Lewis could have testified against him in another murder case.
He was out on federal parole for gun offenses at the time the crime was committed.