A Missouri man has been sentenced to five back-to-back life sentences for a 2013 Easter night crime spree in which he killed a 92-year-old woman was killed and assaulted two other victims.
Jeffrey Nichols, 27, asked for forgiveness from relatives of Carmelita Kaser, of Moberly, before he was sentenced Thursday.
Even though he will be spending the rest of his life behind bars, Kaser’s family said they wished he was sentenced to death.
“I have not changed by opinion on what should have been the punishment,” Kaser’s daughter Phyllis Self said in court, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri. “My mother believed in capital punishment ... I believe in capital punishment, even though we are Christian ... Even though you are going to be jailed for the rest of your life, it’s not enough.”
Nichol’s defense had pointed to his troubled upbringing and drug abuse during the trial.
“I realize you’ve had a hard life...You can’t really say that’s an excuse all the time,” Self said, referencing that testimony during her victim impact statement on Thursday.
Nichols himself seemed to agree with Self’s assessment that he deserved death.
“Death is what I deserve. I don’t hate you for seeking the death penalty against me,” he said in court. “I hope that I can shake your hands at the end when God comes.”
Nichols was convicted in June of first-degree murder in Kaser's death and 16 other crimes. They were committed while Nichols and co-defendant Christopher Lewis were robbing houses to obtain money for drugs.
Lewis was sentenced in 2016 to life in prison. Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Nichols, but jurors spared him. He said at the sentencing hearing that there are "no words" to express his remorse and that death is "what I deserve."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
[Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Department]