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Cops and Courts

Hamilton sentenced to more than 15 years

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    Randy Hamilton arrives for sentencing for murder of Michelle Ryans on Monday at the Lorain County Justice Center.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Randy Hamilton leaves court after sentencing for murder of Michelle Ryals at Lorain County Justice Center Nov. 13.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Mary Utt, mother of Michelle Ryals, speaks to the court, at the sentencing of Randy Hamilton at the Lorain County Justice Center on Nov. 13. Michelle Ryals' photo is on display.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Mary Utt, mother of Michelle Ryans, speaks to the court, at the sentencing of Randy Hamilton at the Lorain County Justice Center on Nov. 13. Behind her is Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Tony Cillo.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — Randy Hamilton will serve more than 15 years for fatally shooting Michelle Ryals, a judge ruled Monday.

Hamilton, 51, of North Ridgeville, was sentenced to 15½ years in prison after being found guilty of felonious assault, having weapons under disability and receiving stolen property after an incident Oct. 25, 2016, at the couple’s North Ridgeville home.

Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge John Miraldi sentenced Hamilton to the maximum allowable sentence for the charges. Hamilton was acquitted of murder by a jury last Tuesday.

“The court is imposing the maximum terms on these counts because the court finds the defendant has committed the worst form of the offense (of felonious assault),” Miraldi said during the sentencing. “A consecutive sentence is necessary to punish the offender. They’re not disproportionate to the seriousness of your conduct and the danger you pose to the public.”

Members of Ryals’ family spoke before the sentencing.

“He shot her in a drunken, jealous rage,” Ryals’ mother, Mary Utt, said, her voice cracking from grief. “It was no accident. How many more women will Randy be allowed to abuse and to kill before somebody stops him? I’ve lost my lunch partner. I’ve lost my shopping companion. I’ve lost my baby.”

Utt said she hopes Hamilton “dies in prison and burns in hell forever.”

Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo said that Hamilton has shown no remorse for his actions and hasn’t taken responsibility for what he’s done.

“I’m asking that the court impose the maximum sentence because nothing has stopped Randy Hamilton when it comes to his behavior toward women,” Cillo said. “Nothing has stopped Randy Hamilton from doing what Randy Hamilton wants. Nothing makes Randy Hamilton take responsibility for his actions.”

After the sentencing, Ryals’ family was still disappointed that Hamilton was acquitted of the murder charge.

“I wish the jury had heard what was presented today,” Ryals’ sister Joan Garven said. “They didn’t hear half of what should have been told, so they would have been aware and found him guilty of murder. It wasn’t reckless. It was on purpose. He knew what he was doing. He always knew what he was doing.”

Utt echoed the thoughts of her daughter.

“When he had that gun in his hand and busted down that door, his intention was to kill her,” she said. “I mean, there was no accident. The guy was not in her room. He’s as guilty as could be of murder.”

Hamilton did not address the court. His attorney, Kenneth Lieux, said an appeal is planned.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.



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