JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - A Louisville man will spend the next 55 years in prison after murdering his wife last year, in front of their teenage daughter.
Marial Wel was sentenced in Clark County Tuesday afternoon for the death of Josephine Amon in January of 2018.
WAVE 3 news southern Indiana reporter Rachael Krause was in the courtroom for their children’s emotional testimony as their father was sentenced.
'You did that out of hatred’, said Wel and Amon’s 14-year-old daughter, testifying to the judge Tuesday about why she wants to see her father spend the rest of his life in prison for her mother’s murder. The girl watched as Wel shot and killed her mother, a horrific memory for her still all these months later.
“Everything that happened, it replays in my head over and over,” she said in court. “He deserves to be in jail.”
“It’s a horrific tragedy. But again, we were able to get justice for this victim today and get her killer convicted of murder and sent to prison for the rest of his life,” said Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull.
Wel plead guilty to Amon’s murder in April. He told the judge Tuesday he didn’t know he’d killed her until his daughter told him. Speaking quietly inside the courtroom, Wel told the judge he believed he did what he did because of mental health issues he’d suffered while witnessing family members and others killed in Sudan before fleeing the country and moving to the US.
In exchange for Wel’s guilty plea, Mull said they dropped the firearms enhancement to Wel's murder charge, ensuring a conviction and letting their family avoid the pain of a trial.
Amon’s father, Michael Kalakon, said they’re glad Wel will be locked up, but wish Wel’s punishment was stronger.
"Marial should get more than 55 [years] because if the murder, to kill someone at least is ranging between 45 to 65 [years] and carrying gun, he should get charges for gun in addition to the killing,” Kalakon said. "But I’m not really pleased that he was not charged for carrying illegal gun.”
Amon’s family told the judge what Wel did was “evil, just evil,” calling for him to spend life in prison after killing such a good person and mother. Mull asked the judge for the maximum possible for Wel in the case and received it in the form of a 55 year sentence.
Wel had been living in the US as a resident, not a citizen, after fleeing Sudan but with this murder conviction, he won’t be able to stay once his sentence is completed.
“What this conviction will ensure is that a deportation hold will be put upon him and if he ever gets out of prison, when he’s in his 80s or 90s, certainly he would be deported back to Sudan at that time and not in the community,” Mull said.