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'You're Going To Die Alone,' Judge Tells Man Who Killed His 3 Next-Door Neighbors

Jonathan Sander killed three of his neighbors after they reportedly accused him of molesting an underage member of their family.

By Gina Tron
Jonathan Sander

A defiant North Carolina killer sentenced to life in prison for the triple murder of his neighbors was told he was going to die alone by the frustrated presiding judge. 

Jonathan Sander, a former landscaper, was sentenced Monday for the deaths of three of his next-door neighbors, whom he reportedly killed after they accused him of child molestation, The News & Observer reported.

He killed Sandy Mazzella, 47; his wife, Stephanie Mazzella, 43; and Sandy Mazzella’s mother, Elaine Mazzella, 76, in March 2016. Each victim was shot multiple times with a shotgun.

Evidence says he burst into their home with a shotgun while screaming, “Child molester? Really, Sandy?”

Sander’s trial lasted three weeks and was full of outbursts from Sander. He also couldn’t help himself while Sal Mazzella, the late husband of Elaine, addressed him on court in Monday, according to local outlet WNCN.

“I do not hate you!” Sal said, directly at his wife’s killer. “You heard what I said. I do not hate you! Through Jesus Christ, I do not hate you or your family. In you, Lord, I have chosen to forgive you.”

During that profession of forgiveness, Sander rolled his eyes.

Sal said, "I hope you can hear me.”

"Oh, I can hear you, and you'll hear me when I talk," Sander replied.

When Sal stopped talking, Sander clapped sarcastically, The News & Observer reported.

Then, Sander addressed the court with his own 27-minute long statement, despite the fact he was only allotted 10 minutes. His statement, or rather manifesto, blamed the victims of making up the child molestation accusations.

"I was built up with anger, I was built up with paranoia, I was built up with anxiety, every single day, saying 'I can't believe they're going to go this far.' As I was going through this whole situation, I had the spirits around me saying 'these guys are bad, they're framing you, they're going to put you in hot water,'" Sander said. "The truth is your parents are dead because of you, not because of me. and not because of my hands. You made up a lie, yeah you did. Look at her crying, look at her crying now," he said, according to WNCN.

He was referencing a teen crying in the courtroom, whom he blamed for the killing. She is reportedly the girl he was accused of molesting.

The judge was less than impressed with the outbursts.

As Sander began to threaten jurors he was cut off by Judge Graham Shirley, who said Sander would die in obscurity despite his crimes.

“You, sir, are going to be housed with the most violent criminals in the state. People who are meaner and more violent than you,” Shirley told him, warning him that the rest of his life will be horrible in prison and much less comfortable than if he were sent to death row.

He then gave the killer a stern goodbye.

“When you take your last breath,” Shirley said, ‘you’re going to die alone and you’re going to die forgotten. Get him out of my courtroom.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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