Bedinger sentenced to life without parole
Emotional outburst in court after sentencing
Updated: Monday, 15 Nov 2010, 5:33 PM EST
Published : Monday, 15 Nov 2010, 3:19 PM EST
TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – A Troy man who killed his stepson learned his punishment on Monday.
Chaos broke out in the Miami County courtroom, after the judge sentenced Jeff Bedinger to life without parole for the murder of 22-year old Brandon Haskins.
About forty of Haskin's family members, and friends piled into the courtroom for the hearing. There was not a dry eye in the courtroom. Loved ones openly sobbed throughout the hearing.
When the judge announced "life without parole", one of Haskin's uncles finally let his emotions loose.
He yelled "I hate you Jeff, I hate you," as he was escorted out of the courtroom by deputies.
On July 8th, Bedinger went to the Troy apartment of his estranged wife. After a tense argument, Bedinger shot his stepson Brandon Haskins 7 times.
Prosecutors said Haskins was just happened to be in the room. He was an innocent by-stander.
Bedinger then took his own 7-year old son Zane, and fled, sparking an amber alert. He later dropped the child off at a friend's home in Indiana..
2 News cameras were rolling during the dramatic chase and arrest of Bedinger's capture in Centerville.
Bedinger took the stand to speak out and address his estranged wife.
Many in the courtroom appeared to be surprised and outraged that he wanted to speak. One family member even covered his ears, not wanting to hear what Bedinger had to say.
"I hope you can find in your heart to tell Zane that what dad did was a horrible thing but dad is not a horrible person. I think about Brandon everyday, and I tell him how sorry I am everyday," said Bedinger.
Family members pleaded with the judge to send Bedinger to prison for the rest of his life, with no chance of getting out.
"I wish Jeff a long and healthy life in prison, Judge. He has taken something that cannot be replaced," said Haskin's grandmother.
Miami County prosecutor Gary Nasal said life without parole literally meant life without a chance of getting parole, in the state of Ohio.
So why did Bedinger kill his stepson? Family members said he was extremely depressed, had just lost his job, filed for bankruptcy, was losing his home, and losing his wife was the last straw.
Bedinger told her he wanted her to hurt just like he was, before turning the gun on Haskins.
He then turned the gun on her, but let her go after she pleaded with him to let her live for the sake of their 7-year old son.
Bedinger blamed his state of mind on the anti-depressant Prozac, saying he'd been off his meds and was not acting like himself before and after he committed the crime.