Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drug addict, batterer sentenced to life without parole for killing of "girlfriend"

A Michigan man with a history of violence against woman was sentenced to life without parole Monday, July 5 in the strangulation murder of his "girlfriend." Oakland County Circuit Judge Colleen O'Brien sentenced 50 year old Joseph Susalla, of Howell, MI to life without parole for the 1st degree murder of 50 year old Kelley Duberg, 50, of Wixom, MI.

Susalla, with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and a criminal record for violence against women, was convicted by a jury after under an hour of deliberation last month on the murder charge. Lawrence Kaluzny, Susalla's attorney, hopes that even though his client faced the mandatory life without parole sentence, that Susalla would get drug and alcohol treatment in prison.

Duberg and Susalla had dated for several months. Susalla strangled Duberg in her Wixom apartment on May 22, 2009, authorities said, because he was angry she wanted to break up. He then drove to an area near Grayling and buried her body on his family's property. Michigan State Police, acting on a tip from his mother, found the body on June 5, 2009, in a shallow grave, nude and wrapped in a shower curtain. Duberg had been beaten and strangled with twine.

The victim's sister, Kimberly Arresto, said her sister was a smart and funny woman who adored her cat Peaches. "The world was a better place when Kelley was with us," Arresto said.

Judge O'Brien said that while the life sentence handed down was mandatory, it was also deserved for the attack on Duberg. "You left a gaping hole in her family and her community. I've seen very little remorse...The defendant is not fit to live in society."

No comments: