PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) - During his sentencing in a Van Buren County circuit courtroom, Junior Beebe, Jr. said his trial was not fair.
Beebe was convicted of killing Tonya Howarth and Amy Henslee in January, then burying their bodies in a shallow grave.
When given an opportunity to speak, before he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Beebe voiced concerns that the jury seated for his trial was not impartial.
"This was not a fair trial," Beebe said, as he read from a prepared statement. "Nine people in the jury saw the case on the news before the trial."
Judge Paul Hamre who presided over the trial said his claims were "astounding".
"This is an insult to the jurors that they didn't give you a fair trial," Hamre said. "It's an insult to the community."
Beebe also maintained the story he told, claiming that he did not shoot Henslee. He's claimed since his arrest that Howarth shot Henslee and that he in turn shot Howarth in self-defense.
"I did not shoot Amy," Beebe said. "Amy is my friend and I should've not been convicted of Amy.
"I was not in my right state of mind when I shot Tonya. This was not a first degree murder."
For the first time, the family members of the victims heard Beebe apologize for what he says he's admitted to.
"I am sorry for burying them," Beebe said. "I know I should not have done that. I am not the person that people are making me out to be."
Shacked and dressed in blue, jail-provided clothes, Beebe promised to appeal his conviction.
Beebe's mother, Karen Beebe, said she believed Beebe's story and agreed that the trial was unfair. She says both families have lost.
"I feel sorry for their little boys," Karen said. "I feel sorry for my grandsons that won't have a daddy either. I feel sorry for everyone in this whole mess. It is a complete mess."
Beebe was whisked away by sheriff's deputies after the hearing. He will be transferred to a state prison.
"I wish this would never have happened," he told the court.
In front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
An observation survey was conducted by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group.