CROWN POINT, Ind. – A man charged with the killings of five women and two girls more than a decade ago was sentenced to 245 years in prison for three of the killings and the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
Eugene Britt, who turns 49 on Saturday, will serve his 245-year sentence at the same time with his sentence of life in prison plus 100 years for the 1995 slaying of an 8-year-old girl.
Britt pleaded guilty but mentally ill on Oct. 6 to murder in the perpetration of rape in the deaths of Nakita Moore, 14; Tonya Dunlap, 24, and Maxine Walker, 41, and in the rape of a 13-year-old Gary girl.
He had also admitted to killing and raping three other women — Betty Askew, 50; Michelle Burns, 27, and Deborah McHenry, 41 — but charges in those deaths were dropped in the plea agreement, under which he waived his right to appeal.
In November 1995, Britt was arrested in the slaying of 8-year-old Sarah Lynn Paulsen in Porter County. In a confession to police in Paulsen's August 1995 death, he admitted to a total of nine killings, although but no charges were ever filed in two of the cases.
Britt reached his plea agreement in the killings of Moore, Dunlap and Walker a week after a judge ruled he was mentally retarded and could not be sentenced to the death penalty.
Britt, who shook and wept Friday as he sat in his wheelchair, the result of a failed suicide attempt 11 years ago when he threw himself in front of a train, said he regretted his crimes.
"I'm truly sorry for my sins and I take full responsibility for my actions, ain't nobody but myself. God knows I'm guilty. God knows I'm guilty," he said.
Defense attorney Gojko Kasich asked Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez to recommend that Britt be held in isolation. Vasquez, however, said his order will read that Kasich made the request. He said Britt will be housed in a maximum-security prison.
As he was wheeled from the courtroom, Britt shouted, "God loves me, too."
Lake County prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty against Britt for more than six years in connection with the 1995 killings in Gary, but dropped that demand during plea agreement negotiations.
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter said in a statement that Britt had inflicted "unfathomable" violence on his victims and expressed sympathy to their relatives.
"This plea and sentence ensures that he will spend the rest of his life in prison — never to inflict such agony on other victims and their families," Carter said.