ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Michael Fox didn’t have a lot to say when the judge asked if he wanted to address the friends and family of the man he killed.
Brandon Sherwin, 29, was a son, brother, and father of a little girl.
“You truly are a threat to society, Mr. Fox,” Honorable Roger McDonough said.
Convicted murderer Michael Fox was sentenced to 25 years to life for fatally shooting and stabbing his friend and neighbor Sherwin, but not before hearing from those who loved Sherwin most, his mom.
“You have taken Brandon away from all of us and our hearts are forever broken, life will never be the same without him.”
The mother of Sherwin’s 5-year-old daughter also spoke at his sentencing.
“Did you know that she’s terrified of you without even knowing who you are. Did you know before her fifth birthday she already knew significant loss?” Kayla O’Connell, the mother of Sherwin’s daughter, said.
The prosecutor also read a statement from Anna Rozell, the woman Fox was convicted of attempting to murder.
“I can’t sleep but when I finally pass out I wake up in fear thinking something is going to happen to me,” Rozell said.
Given his chance to respond, Fox, at first refusing, then saying this, “just that I’m sorry and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
An apology that fell flat for Kayla O’Connell, who will now be raising Sherwin’s little girl on her own.
“Obviously the judge said, it was a lack of remorse and you could clearly see that,” O’Connell said.
Sherwin’s family was brought to tears when statements Fox made after killing Sherwin were read aloud.
Fox made these statements,” I shot a kid in the f***** face with a shotgun I killed that b**** and I would kill him again I wish I could’ve chopped his face off.”
Fox’s lawyer Michael Jurena says he didn’t remember him saying any of that. He says has paranoid schizophrenia, was off his meds, and under the influence of drugs the night of the killing.
“So this case is all about drugs, it’s all about mental illness,” Jurena said.
Mitigating factors, that did not convince the judge to impose anything less than the maximum sentence.
“Although that may offer some explanation, it certainly offers no excuse,” Judge McDonough said.
Fox was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, providing some measure of comfort to the woman raising a little girl – who no longer has a father.
“It is a relief that he is gonna go away for a long time and we’re hoping that if he ever comes up for parole, that it gets denied, and we will be there to fight it every step of the way,” O’Connell said.
Despite Fox agreeing under oath to waive his right to appeal at the time of the plea, on Friday he indicated that he does wish to appeal.