Killer says he lost grip on reality

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Killer says he lost grip on reality

Post  Jennie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:08 pm

Killer says he lost grip on reality

MOUNT GILEAD -- Sobs of grief and words of anger pierced the solemnity of the courtroom as a 20-year-old Morrow County man learned his punishment for the murder of a Marengo woman.

As a standing-room-only gallery of the victim's family members watched Thursday in Morrow County Common Pleas Court, Luke Adkins received prison sentences amounting to 42 years to life for the Oct. 16 fatal stabbing of Kimberly Russell, 39, of Marengo.

Adkins apologized to Russell's family members, some of whom wept quietly after making emotional comments of their own to the court.

Russell's twin sister, Melissa Russell Seymour, said Adkins would "have gotten what you deserve," if he had gotten the death penalty.

Adkins later read from a piece of notebook paper, saying, "If I could restore your loved one to you ... I would."

"I never disliked Kim," he said, adding that Russell trusted him enough to share "many deep emotions" with him. "Kim was a cool person in my eyes, and I admired her for her abilities as a mother."

He said he cared deeply for Russell's daughter, Anjelika Owens, 16 at the time of the murder. She faces a charge of complicity to commit aggravated murder. A jury trial is set for Aug. 11.

He said Owens had negative feelings about her mother, which "began to twist the way" he viewed Russell.

"I let my mind lose its grip as to what was reality and what was not. ... I know there is no excuse for what I was a part of," Adkins said.

In testimony at the plea hearing before Common Pleas Judge Howard Hall, Adkins said the murder was a plan he and Owens agreed upon "to get her mother out of the picture so they could be together," Morrow County sheriff's Deputy Greg Perry has said.

Adkins was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on a charge of aggravated murder, and nine years to life on a charge of aggravated robbery, as well as three years for a gun specification. The sentences are to be served consecutively. The robbery charge stems from a separate incident related to the Oct. 14 armed robbery of Castle's Gas & Deli in Marengo.

Adkins pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to both charges, but withdrew those pleas and pleaded guilty to both charges June 13, according to the prosecutor's office.

Adkins' attorney, Bruce Davis of Columbus, said his client suffers from long-term depression and borderline personality disorder. Davis said drug abuse by Adkins and Owens contributed to the murder.

Russell's father, Beryl Russell of Marengo, said, "I hope the son of a (expletive) dies in prison. ... And then he burns in hell for what he did to me and my family. ... He deserved more than what he got."

Adkins' mother disagreed with comments her son hasn't shown regret for his crimes.

"They say he didn't show remorse. He has," Geri Adkins said.

Prosecuting attorney Char-les Howland agreed.

"I think he truly regrets what happened now," he said. "I don't know about back in '07."


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