INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 15, 2016) - The man who murdered a 15-year-old Ben Davis student was sentenced to 84 years in prison Friday.
William Gholston was convicted of murdering Dominique Allen last month. Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours before reaching a guilty verdict.
"You'e not a monster, you're a man, but your actions were beyond monstrous," Judge Marc Rothenberg said during Friday's sentencing hearing. "They haunted me."
Allen disappeared from her family's home in August 2014. Her body was later found burned in the backyard of a near west side home. According to detectives, she had been strangled. Her feet and hands were bound with a wire. The case remained unsolved for months until DNA linked Gholston to the murder in November 2014. His DNA was found on Allen's body and sandal.
"You're a destroyer, a thief of life and happiness," Rothenberg said.
The judge added that "Ms. Allen did not even have dignity in her death." Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 85 years. Defense attorneys said Gholston has mental health issues that needed to be taken into account.
"(Dominique's death) took a lot of away from us," sister Shenika Poindexter said during the hearing. "We missed everything. She was the last baby. Everything is gone. We don't have anything. We don't get to see her for the funeral because of condition of her body."
Poindexter said that if the judge sentenced Gholston to 100 years in prison, "it won't be enough."
Mareeka Allen, another sister, read a statement saying the crime would haunt them for the rest of their lives. She'd never wish something like this to happen to anyone else, she told the court.
"A while back I said 'I forgive you,' but I will never forget what you did."