GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The man who killed Jamie Powell in her Walker apartment nearly two years ago was sentenced to life in prison, a sentence her family called "one of the greatest Valentine's Day gifts that anyone could ever receive."
Karl Cotton Jr. was arrested in May 2012 for the slaying of Powell on March 5, 2011.
On that day, Cotton drove from Benton Harbor to Grand Rapids for a drug deal. He and another man went to Powell's apartment, and when the deal didn't go as planned, the other man fled.
A jury believed Cotton then killed the 30-year-old Powell.
"I've wanted to see you dead for what you did to my daughter," Jamie Powell's father Jim Powell said during the sentencing. "I would love for Judge Trusock to release you to our family and I'd take you out to the farm where Jamie was raised and I'd hang you."
With his hands and feet chained, Cotton listed as Powell's family spoke of forgiveness, but also of heartache and anger.
"Karl should never be allowed out as he has no regard for human life," said sister Jennifer Powell.
When it was his turn to speak, Cotton showed no remorse.
"I would like to offer my deepest condolence to the victim's family. I sympathize with your loss, however I stand before this court as a wrongfully accused and convicted man," he said.
Judge Mark Trusock sentenced Cotton to life in prison without the possibility of parole, a fitting end for the Powell family.
"At some point in time, sir, I hope you understand all the pain you caused this family and all these people and I hope you think about it every day," said Trusock.
"It's one of the greatest Valentine's Day gifts that anyone could ever receive," said Jim Powell.
As the judge ended the proceedings, one of Powell's family members said "Happy Valentine's Day, Karl."
"Happy Valentine's Day to you, too," Cotton responded as he was led away.
A sheriff's deputy car and a Michigan State Police SUV were among the damaged vehicles.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.