Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Boyfriend" sentenced to 99 years for sledgehammer attack on woman

A brutal attacker who left a former dancer and singer with the mental capacity of a young teen has been sentenced to 99 years in prison. What makes it worse that this attack did not take place on a stranger, or as a result of a robbery, but took place against a woman by her own "boyfriend."

Brandon Bishop, of Plantation, FL, a 23 year old former University of Florida student, was sentenced to 99 years in prison yesterday Broward Circuit Judge Joel Lazarus in the 2006 sledgehammer attack against Jennifer McClary. The attack left McClary in a coma for several weeks and today, she has the mental capacity of a 12 to 15 year old.

In June, a jury took about 30 minuted to convict Bishop of attempted 1st degree murder and reject his insanity plea.

The mother and stepfather of the victim spoke before Judge Lazarus before he meted out his sentence. "His choice of weapon was barbaric...If he did this to an animal there would be a public outcry," said Bill Murphy about his stepdaughter's attacker.

"This was a murder," said Karen Murphy, the victim's mother said.

Bishop's defense attorney Joel Hirschhorn had argued that his client, debilitated by a major depressive disorder and vulnerable to psychotic episodes, lost control and could not recognize the consequences of his actions.Mental health experts testified Friday that he could be treated.Bishop himself spoke before the sentencing, telling Lazarus, "I know in my right mind I wouldn't have done this.""Please let us take our son home today," his mother, Suzann Bishop, begged the judge.

In the end, Judge Lazarus scolded the perp directly before passing sentence, stating that "you created a crime that was horrific. You ruined a person's life."

Prosecutors stated that the attacker had enough clarity of thought to but the sledgehammer a few days before the attack, place it inside his parents' home, and lie in wait for his victim.

Bishop will probably die in jsil, since his earliest release date is in just over 84 years. All felons in Florida must serve at least 85% of their prison sentence.

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