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Missouri man sentenced to life in prison

A Missouri man was sentenced to life in prison, without parole in a Randolph County 2013 murder.

Jeffrey Nichols will serve six consecutive sentences, including five life sentences, a sentence of seven years and a sentence of 15 years, according Mike Fusselman, Randolph County prosecutor.

“The death penalty is what I deserve,” Nichols said at his sentencing. “I deserve to die.”

Nichols, who was 22 years old when the assault happened, said drugs ruined his life. His defense argued he shouldn’t be sentenced to death because of his hard upbringing.

Nichols is convicted of killing 92-year-old Carmelita Kaser on Easter Sunday in 2013. In June, a jury recommended that Nichols should serve life without parole.

Kaser’s family members spoke at the sentencing, saying capital punishment could have been an option.

“I also believe in capital punishment even though we are Christian,” said Kaser’s daughter during the sentencing.

Nichols and Christopher Lewis stole a “machete-like instrument” from Moberly’s Walmart Supercenter before the murder. Court documents say that both men admitted entering Kaser’s house to steal money. They assaulted her with a “machete-type knife” to her neck, then struck her with the butt of a pistol. The men also robbed Kaser and “left her dead,” before taking her vehicle.

Prosecutor Mike Fusselman said Nichols would likely be a danger to the community if he was not in state custody.

“He responds to situations differently than you and I do,” Fusselman. “Or else he wouldn’t have been in this circumstance five years ago. So I would like to hope for the best, but I can’t predict.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story had the incorrect number of life sentences to be served consecutively.

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