Paul Michael Merhige, the man who shot and killed four family members on Thanksgiving Day 2009 at the home of WPTV (West Palm Beach) photojournalist Jim Sitton, was sentenced today to seven consecutive life sentences by a Florida judge. The Palm Beach Post reports Sitton (pictured here with daughter Makayla, one of the murder victims) and his family were present for the sentencing:
Jim Sitton held a lock of his daughter Makayla’s hair in his hand as he spoke to the judge, pleading with him to postpone the hearing. The Sittons have said that they wanted prosecutors to take the case to trial and continue seeking the death penalty.
At one point, Jim Sitton dropped to his knees, in what he said was an attempt to plead with prosecutors one last time to allow the case to go to trial.
“Makayla didn’t have a chance to beg for her life,” Sitton said. “Why should he have the chance to beg for his?”