Cleveland – A Maple Heights man who brutally stabbed his neighbor dozens of times has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced today.
Rhonda Jackson, 52, was found dead on the living room floor of her apartment on March 3, 2013, with at least 74 stab wounds to her head, neck and torso as well as cervical compressions and blunt force trauma.
Darnell Newett, who was 50 at the time and lived in the same building, was acquainted with Jackson. Investigators found discarded, bloodstained clothing and a broken steak knife in a nearby dumpster. The clothing contained Jackson’s blood and touch DNA from Newett. Newett’s identification cards were also found in the pocket of the pants recovered from the dumpster and soiled with Jackson’s blood.
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Newett was indicted for the murder, and the case went to trial before Judge John Sutula on July 20, 2015. A jury found Newett guilty on all counts, including two counts of Aggravated Murder and one count each of Murder, Felonious Assault, Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence. Judge Sutula today sentenced Newett to life in prison with possibility of parole after 35 years.
“What Mr. Newett did to the victim is reprehensible, and I hope that as he serves out his sentence while each and every one of those 74 plus knife wounds haunts him,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mahmoud Awadallah, who along with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Rogalski and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Hannah Smith represented the State of Ohio in this case.
A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office says Newett and Jackson were friends and that it’s unclear why he killed her. -cuyahogacounty.us
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