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A northern Indiana man who pleaded guilty to killing a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to 60 years in prison in the gruesome 2019 slaying.
The Tippecanoe County judge who sentenced Talmadge Jasper, 20, on Tuesday, ordered the Lafayette man to serve 45 years of that sentence, the Journal & Courier reported.
Jasper pleaded guilty in August to murder in the May 2019 killing of 29-year-old Ryan Martin. Prosecutors said Jasper, then 18, lured Martin to his Lafayette apartment and struck him from behind four times with a sledgehammer as Martin sat on a couch.
Prosecutors said Jasper then strangled the still-breathing Martin to death, wrapped his body in a plastic tote and hid it in a closet.
Tippecanoe County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Dean said Jasper killed Martin not because of mental illness, as Jasper’s defense attorney maintains, but out of vengeance because Martin was dating a woman Jasper had previously dated.
Dean said co-workers of the two men had teased Jasper about Martin’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend.
He said two court-appointed mental health experts agreed that Jasper’s psychotic symptoms were either fabricated or being exaggerated in an effort for leniency.
Judge Steve Meyer said he was not convinced that Jasper was mentally ill at the time of the murder, saying he would not give a “guilty but mentally ill” distinction with his sentence.
“He didn’t deserve any of it,” the judge told Jasper of Martin. “You callously and brutally snuffed out his life from this world.”
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