A man ambushed a family, hogtying a victim who later died from the injuries and bound a woman's hands while blindfolding her.
Now, he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.
Charles Pershing, 40, of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, was recently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2018 beating death of 65-year-old Loxley Johns, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pershing had been convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Johns at the man's home on Runnete Street on Sept. 3, 2018.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that on that day Johns was returning home in the early morning when Pershing attacked him outside. According to police, a fight ensued on the porch, leaving a chair broken and blood stains.
Pershing then took Johns inside the home and hogtied him and left him downstairs while he went upstairs to attack Johns' fiancé, Monica McWilson. McWilson testified that she her someone in her adult daughter's bedroom at approximately 4 a.m. When she went to check on her, she was attacked by Pershing, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
McWilson said Pershing, whom she recognized from the neighborhood, bound her hands and blindfolded her, and she remained that way for approximately three hours.
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McWilson, who said she had been with Johns for eight years, described the late man as a good person. “He taught me how to enjoy the little things in life and that true happiness has prerequisites,” she wrote in her letter, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We were opposites on paper but deeply in love.”
Pershing told the court that he fell into drug use after being involved in a serious car crash and became addicted. He said often times he didn't know he was doing wrong while on drugs, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
“I didn’t know that I was doing wrong for a long time with the painkillers, and then I did know, and I didn’t stop, and I couldn’t stop, and I lost everything,” Pershing said. “I lost my house. I went to jail. And nobody was there, because I abandoned everyone.”
Pershing told the court he tried to get clean but wound up hooked on heroin instead. “I’m sorry I destroyed a family, but I destroyed mine, too," he said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
McWilson, however, said she lost basically everything after the killing, most importantly her life partner. “A bright, loving light has been permanently dimmed,” she said. “I often question why God would allow this [to] occur. My steadfast belief as a Christian knows that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.”
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