Thomas Ellison, Jr., 24, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder for the May 23 death of Jazmon Hoskins, 21. Immediately after admitting he killed the 21-year-old mother of his young daughter, Ellison was ordered to serve a term of life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years.
Ms. Hoskins, who was found inside her Old West End apartment, died of asphyxiation by strangulation, authorities said. Soon after, authorities received a call from Ellison, who had fled to Cincinnati, saying he had killed his girlfriend.
In court, Ellison shed tears and hung his head as he listened to Judge Dean Mandros review portions of a recorded interview he had previously had with detectives. The judge quoted Ellison as saying that he grabbed Ms. Hoskins, fell to the floor and began choking her.
Ellison was charged with aggravated murder, which is punishable by life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years, 25 years, or 30 years as well as life without parole. As part of a negotiated plea, Ellison pleaded guilty to the indictment in exchange for a prosecutor recommendation that he be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Bahner said that although Ellison would be eligible after 20 years, the office was not recommending that the parole board release him. The judge noted that he has never known someone incarcerated on a life sentence to be released at the time of their first parole eligibility.
Ellison tearfully apologized to his family, Ms. Hoskins’ family, and to his 2-year-old daughter. His attorney, David Klucas, noted that Ellison did not have a violent past and that he was honest with police about his actions.
Ms. Hoskins’ parents, Monica and Shawn Hoskins spoke in court before Ellison was sentenced to prison. Mrs. Hoskins told Judge Mandros that no sentence would ever change the loss felt by her daughter’s death.
“There is no justice here today because we will forever serve a life sentence,” she said.
Erica Blake - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)
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