The jury that found Taybronne White guilty of murdering three people in Greene County wanted him to spend the rest of his life in prison. Wednesday - despite defense pleas pointing to White's troubled childhood - the judge agreed and affirmed the jury's recommended 76-year sentence.
The court approved the jury's exact recommendation after it found White guilty of 11 felonies and corresponding penalties during his nine-day trial last October. The jury convicted White of murdering Dustin Knighton, Lisa Hwang and Brian Lee Daniels and leaving their bodies in Octonia Road in May 2011.
Wednesday, White appeared in court for his sentencing and spoke openly for the first time. He did not apologize or show any remorse. Instead, he said to the court that he had been set up and "loved" the victims "to death."
After over three hours of testimony and argument, the court sentenced White, 28, to 76 years behind bars.
“I think there was justice done for the victims in this case. It is very upsetting for the family members and it is difficult for them to go through this process,” said Commonwealth's Attorney Ronald Morris.
During the sentencing hearing, a neuropsychologist testified about White's mental disability and severe physical and emotional abuse growing up. White also told the judge that he had been set up with tainted evidence, some of which an evidence technician admitted during trial.
“I maintain that my son is innocent and I am here today again to protest against injustice in Greene County,” said Alonzo Cutchin, White’s father.
The judge had the final word, saying he refused to modify the jury's recommendation.
“These were very serious crimes and I thought they called for serious punishment,” said Morris.
The defense recommended the court reduce the recommended sentence to about 40 to 50 years, but the judge said he believed White poses a danger to others.
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