LIMA — James Ream continued to try to manipulate his fate and family Wednesday even after a jury convicted him of murder in the shooting death of his brother.
But in the end, his family had the final say and a judge sent him to prison possibly for the rest of his life.
His daughter, Jessica Ream, told her father she loved him but he was not right.
"He needs help. You can’t let him out. He’ll just do it again," she said.
James Ream responded, "Shut up. Please leave."
James Ream’s son, Joshua Ream, said the case has fractured the family.
"We used to be able to talk to one another. Half our family won’t talk to one another," he said before asking that his father get the maximum sentence.
Angela Jenkins said her father, Ronald Ream, took care of James Ream and he killed him. James Ream interrupted and said he took care of his brother when he was sick.
Ronald Ream’s son, James A. Ream, told his uncle he hoped he found peace and could someday take responsibility.
"And you’re a dirtbag," he said.
James Ream responded, "So are you."
Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick just shook his head afterward. He said James Ream’s behavior was the same he displayed his whole life.
"That’s really the way he acted with people and family. He was just nothing was ever his fault. He played poor, poor me. Anything bad that happened in his life was someone else’s fault," Waldick said.
James Ream even tried to manipulate Judge Richard Warren before the judge sentenced him to 18 years to life for murder with a gun.
"Go ahead and do the maximum or whatever you’re going to do. If you’re going to put me to death, put me to death," he told the judge.
The jury took 50 minutes to convict James Ream, 56, who claimed he shot his brother in self-defense. He told a sheriff’s investigator his 62-year-old brother came at him with a butcher knife.
But that story didn’t add up and changed during more than three hours of an interview with a detective.
James Ream tried to paint his brother as a criminal with a temper.
He also tried to claim the gun he used to shoot his brother was in a latched box in his hands under laundry when his brother came after him with the knife from several feet away. He said he reacted by opening the box, getting out the gun, cocking it and shooting.
Waldick said that scenario just didn’t make sense. No one was that fast.
Waldick told the jury during closing arguments James Ream not only murdered his brother, likely out of jealousy, anger and hatred, but tried to cover it up. After shooting him seven times, he listened to his brother gurgle. He then dragged his body into a bedroom, mopped up the floor and burned evidence, including the mop.
After realizing he wasn’t going to be able to cover up all the evidence, he sought out a sheriff’s investigator to make a self-defense claim on him, which he took 15 hours to put together, Waldick said.
Still, the claim didn’t make sense. Ream couldn’t get around the physical evidence, which Waldick said led to the fast verdict, one of the fastest Waldick has ever seen in a murder case. Still, Waldick said there is no such thing as a "slam-dunk" in a murder case despite a defendant admitting to killing the victim and overwhelming evidence.
James Ream’s attorney, Greg Donohue, had tried to dispute the evidence. He said had James Ream really made up a story it would have been a lot better than the one he told the sheriff’s investigator. Donohue said that showed he was telling the truth.
The verdict came on the third day of trial, which was eventful even without the verdict. Earlier in the day, a juror fainted while the coroner showed autopsy photos and discussed her findings. After a break, the juror, in private, told the judge she would not be able to go forward. Warren released her and an alternate took her place.