Indiana man gets 60-year term in slashing death

File Photo. (MGN)
File Photo. (MGN)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana man who said a television message told him to kill his roommate has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the woman’s death.

A Bartholomew County judge ordered the sentence Thursday for 37-year-old Ryan Klug, who pleaded guilty but mentally ill last month to murder charges in the Nov. 17 death of 26-year-old Adaobi Obih in the Columbus apartment they shared, The Republic reported (http://bit.ly/1gW1qaI ).

Authorities say Klug choked, stabbed and slashed the throat of Obih, an engineer at Columbus-based engine maker Cummins Inc., after she returned home from church.

Obih’s body was found two days later after relatives reported they couldn’t contact her. Klug was arrested Nov. 23 outside a bar in Galveston, Texas.

“The viciousness of this terrible attack went well beyond murdering an individual,” Judge Stephen Heimann said. “It should be more appropriately described as a butchering.”

Klug said he intended to appeal the sentence. Klug read a written statement during the sentencing hearing that included a number of New Testament verses on forgiveness.

“I gained nothing and lost everything by what I did, but I can’t go back and take it away,” he said.

Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash said since Klug admitted his mental illness in the plea, prosecutors could ask a judge to keep Klug in a psychiatric institution at any time for the rest of his life.

Obih had used the website Craigslist to find a roommate and Klug moved into the apartment about six months before Obih’s death, court documents said. Transcripts from police interviews of family members, co-workers and longtime friends indicate Klug displayed racist and misogynistic tendencies, as well as bigotry, Heimann said.

In psychiatric evaluations, Klug said mental illness caused him to hear voices from his television, ordering him to kill.

But Obih’s relatives and friends, most who flew in from her native Nigeria for the sentencing hearing, said they were frustrated about the senselessness of her death.

Charley Obih had tears in his eyes as he testified about his daughter.

“What is the motive?” Obih asked while on the witness stand. “I believe there was something behind it.”
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Information from: The Republic, http://www.therepublic.com/

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