KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Besham Sugrim will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole for beating and killing a Kalamazoo woman in 2003, then telling his wife and threatening to kill her if she told anyone.
Sugrim was convicted on Feb. 15 after the jury deliberated just five hours.
When he addressed the court prior to officially being sentenced, Sugrim verbally attacked everyone involved in his conviction in a rant that was both articulate and bizarre:
- He called the prosecutor a liar
- He accused the judge of presiding over a circus of lies
- He told Gibson's family their hatred toward him was misplaced since he didn't kill her
- He said his wife is brain-damaged but he still loves her very much.
Linda Gibson was beaten and killed in an industrial area of Kalamazoo on Sept. 14, 2003. The case remained unsolved until Sugrim was arrested for beating his 11-year-old daughter. At that time, his wife, Bernadette Sugrim, came forward and told authorities he confided to her he killed Gibson, but threatened to harm her and their children if she said anything to anyone.
The NBC program Dateline covered the trial for a future episode and spoke with the jury after the verdict was announced.
11 of 12 jurors assembled to speak with the "Dateline" crew about the case. They all agreed on what tipped the scale:
"Bernadette's testimony," the jurors told "Dateline." "It kind of helped solidify stuff. She knew so many things about the murder when it happened. You could tell that she had a very sharp recollection of things."
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