Strangler throws reading table at sentencing judge

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man who strangled his girlfriend to keep her from implicating him in a stabbing threw a reading table Monday at a judge who’d just sentenced him to 50 to 100 years in prison.
 
Jahleel Hoskins killed 26-year-old Latrice Maze, a mother of five, to prevent her from telling police about a non-fatal stabbing, according to Grand Rapids authorities. She disappeared in March, and her body has never been found.
 
Hoskins, 26, was in the middle of his trial in Kent County Circuit Court when he accepted a deal and pleaded guilty Dec. 11 to second-degree murder. He’d been charged with an open murder count, and the deal let him avoid the risk of being convicted of first-degree murder, which carries mandatory life imprisonment without parole. He already is serving 25 to 75 years for the stabbing.
 
Before the sentencing, Maze’s mother, Wanda Rose, told the court that she has tried to explain to her grandchildren about their mom’s disappearance. Rose said shortly after her daughter went missing, Hoskins joined searches and vigils in honor of Maze.
 
“After you killed her, you had a party in her house,” Rose said. “What kind of person are you?”
 
Hoskins also spoke before the sentencing, making a weepy apology to Maze’s family and saying he didn’t mean to kill her. He told Judge James R. Redford that he deeply loved Maze, MLive.com reported.
 
“Before this happened, everybody looked at me as a good person,” Hoskins said. “In the blink of an eye, I’m a monster.”
 
Redford told Hoskins that he made the crime worse by dumping Maze’s body in the garbage for likely incineration. That denied the family the chance for a funeral and burial, the judge said before issuing the sentence.
 
Hearing that he would spend at least a half-century behind bars, the handcuffed prisoner threw a reading table toward Redford’s bench and lumbered forward until court deputies dragged him from the courtroom, his face contorted in anger. Hoskins then started screaming at the victim’s family.
 
No injuries were reported.
 

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