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Man sentenced for killing stepfather after mentally ill plea

A Utah man has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing his stepfather in their home in 2017.

The Standard-Examiner reports a district court judge on Thursday sentenced David Russell Erekson of Huntsville after he had previously entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill to felony murder in the death of 69-year-old Roger Haven.

The sentence was the mandatory minimum stipulated in Erekson’s plea agreement.

Erekson’s attorney, James Retallick, says the case “reflects badly” on the mental health industry in the state, as Erekson was evaluated by mental health professionals just days before his client attacked and killed Haven in their Huntsville home. Erekson’s mother says David was diagnosed with severe hearing loss and schizophrenia.

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