An Ohio man convicted of shooting a 20-year-old babysitter to death was sentenced Tuesday to 61 years in prison.
A jury found Chuckie Lee guilty of murder, assault and gun charges for killing Taylor Brandenburg, according to WHIO TV 7 in Dayton.
Lee, 40, represented himself in the trial, a move prosecutors derisively dubbed the “Chuckie Lee Show,” according to the Dayton Daily News.
The jury convicted him in two hours.
Brandenburg was babysitting her cousin’s children in March 2017 when she heard shots fired outside the home. When she went outside to investigate, she was struck by two bullets from a 37-shot barrage fired by Lee and co-defendant Evans Cassell.
“Should you live to be 101, you’ll be under the authority of the state parole board,” Judge Gregory Singer told Lee, calling the crime the “worst form of offenses, spraying a street with bullets.”
Lee’s semi-automatic Glock handgun was equipped with a 50-round extended magazine, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Dayton police called Brandenburg a “true victim.”
Lee, in his opening statement, stood before the jury in khaki pants and a plain short-sleeved shirt, promising jurors he would stick to the facts and law, and asking the panel to reach a decision they “truly believe in, or where your heart is.”
Lee testified at trial and told the jury that he did, in fact, fire the fatal shots that killed Brandenburg — but said he didn’t intend to kill her because he was aiming at Ricky Mayes Jr., Brandenburg’s cousin, whose children she was babysitting at his house.
”At that moment, I was not thinking. I was not really talking. I was angry,” Lee said, according to the Dayton Daily News.
According to Lee, Mayes owed an associate of his money for a drug debt. Lee said that when he saw Mays that night at a local bar, The Glass Hat, he punched Mays first — but only after Mays allegedly called the bar his, hiked up his pants and called him a racial slur.
“I wanted to hurt him bad,” Lee said. “I wanted to do something to him.”
The fight spilled outside, and Lee’s girlfriend, Kara Parisi-King, said she knew where Mayes lived, according to the Dayton Daily News. After retrieving Lee’s Glock and another gun for Cassell from a storage locker, Parisi-King took the killers to Mayes’ house, the newspaper reports.
When they saw him standing on the street outside, they opened fire. “I do remember going to that corner,” Lee said. “When I looked up I seen Ricky. I didn’t see anybody else. I shot. We both shot. We continued to shoot.”
Realizing later he hit Brandenburg, not Mayes, Lee said, “I definitely feel responsibility. I definitely got regret.”
Parisi-King pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 15 years to life, according to News2 WDTN, the local CBS affiliate in Dayton. Cassell likewise pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 years to life.
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