"Ga. man gets life sentence in beating deaths of his father, 7 others," is the AP report by Russ Bynum, via the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
Dressed in orange jailhouse garb rather than the suit he wore at trial, Guy Heinze Jr. bowed his head as a judge sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole. A quirk of legal maneuvering had spared Heinze from a possible death sentence for the 2009 beating deaths of his father and seven others.
Relatives of the victims said they never wanted to see Heinze executed.
"That's the easy way out," said Diane Isenhower, whose ex-husband and four children were among the eight people beaten to death four years ago inside a cramped mobile home they shared with Heinze.
"From day one, we told them, 'No death penalty,'" said Hazel Sumner, who identified herself as a cousin to Isenhower's family.
Heinze, 26, was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Glynn County Superior Court less than a week after a jury convicted him of malice murder in the Aug. 29, 2009, slayings. Prosecutors dropped the death penalty as an option last week as part of a last-minute deal with defense attorneys that allowed them to avoid a hung jury.
Under Georgia law, Heinze faced an automatic life sentence once the death penalty was off the table. The only thing Judge Stephen Scarlett had to decide was whether the defendant would ever be eligible for parole.
Earlier coverage from Georgia begins at the link.