A contentious hearing played out in a North Carolina courtroom Monday between a man convicted of killing his next-door neighbors and a judge who told him, “You’re going to die alone. Get him out of my courtroom.”
Jonathan Sander was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his three neighbors with a shotgun in March 2016. Sander was reportedly angry that they had accused him of child molestation.
Sal Mazella, whose wife, adult son and daughter-in-law were the victims, had been a business partner with Sander before the slayings and gave an emotional statement during the hearing.
“I do not hate you!” Mazzella told Sander from the witness stand. “You heard what I said. I do not hate you! Through Jesus Christ, I do not hate you or your family. In you, Lord, I have chosen to forgive you.”
Throughout the statement, Sander rolled his eyes, yawned, and sarcastically applauded when Mazzella was finished, The News & Observer reported.
Sander then launched into a nearly 30-minute rant that blamed and insulted other people. He started to threaten jurors but was cut off by Judge Graham Shirley.
“You, sir, are going to be housed with the most violent criminals in the state. People who are meaner and more violent than you,” Shirley told Sander.
Shirley read Sander his final sentencing before ending with: “When you take your last breath you’re going to die alone and you’re going to die forgotten. Get him out of my courtroom.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.