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Judge Donna Pate has sentenced convicted killer Stephen Marc Stone to life in prison without parole for murdering his wife and son.
Stone killed his wife and son, 32-year-old Krista Stone and 7-year-old Zachary Stone, inside their south Huntsville home on Feb. 24, 2013.
Friday's hearing lasted less than an hour. During it, Stone spoke and said he was sorry and said he was at peace with receiving the death penalty.
"He understands the ramifications of what he did. He understands that there is obviously going to be punishment that goes with that," said his attorney, Larry Marsili.
Stone’s attorney said they appreciate his ability to address the court, but believe he suffers from mental disturbance and it's impacting his ability to determine the criminality of his actions.
Marsili told the judge that Stone had no mental illness leading up to the murders, and Stone was a hardworking family man who supported his family and attended church. However, he said no one knew about his mental illness before the 2013 murders.
"It's undisputed in our view that Marc is schizophrenic, and he is suffering from a clear mental disease," Marsili said.
A jury convicted Stone in February 2019, recommending two counts of life in prison without parole. For both counts, three jurors recommended the death penalty and nine recommended life in prison without parole. Pate had the final sentencing decision.
The prosecution said they're hoping the sentencing gives everyone involved closure.
"It does give me some comfort that he realizes what he did and feels some remorse and hopefully, it's honest and genuine," said Prosecutor Tim Gann.
Authorities say Stone strangled his victims. The trial was pushed back several times for mental evaluations of Stone, but he ultimately was found competent to stand trial but pursued an insanity defense.
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