LIMA — A man who killed his girlfriend during what may have been a heated feud was sentenced to 14 years in prison Monday.
Timothy Brown, 48, said he loved Valeda Thomas.
“It was an accident, man. I didn’t mean to hurt her, man,” Brown said.
Brown was sentenced on the charge of voluntary manslaughter with a gun in the Oct. 3 shooting of the 32-year-old Thomas inside her home at 218 W. Murphy St.
Brown’s attorney, Greg Donohue, said the two had a volatile relationship.
“It was a mutually combative relationship,” Donohue said. “They fought a lot.”
Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said evidence indicated there was some type of quarrel before Thomas getting shot in the face. The two also had a history of fighting, he said.
“We weren’t sure whether it was physical or not but there was certainly the possibility based on the evidence that we found at the scene,” he said.
Thomas owned the gun but Brown gave it to her as a gift, Waldick said.
Brown said Thomas pulled the gun on him but that could not be determined, for sure, by the evidence, Waldick said.
“Those are all the kinds of things that go into consideration when deciding whether to offer a plea to a reduced charge,” Waldick said.
Donohue said the two had been drinking before the shooting.
Thomas’ cousin, Sherita Thomas, said Thomas’ children will never have their mother around again.
“He just hurt my whole family. She was well loved and all we got is memories. You can’t never replace that,” she said.
Brown has a long criminal history dating back more than 30 years. He has served time in prison and had a weapons case in Chicago in 1996, Judge Jeffrey Reed said.
Waldick requested the maximum sentence, which the judge gave, based on the crime and Brown’s record.