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Old 06-21-2010, 03:58 PM
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Default Kentucky con man gets 2 life sentences for 1980 deaths

Kentucky con man gets 2 life sentences for 1980 deaths

June 21, 2010


JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — Aging Kentucky con man Edward W. Edwards received his second pair of life sentences in two weeks on Monday, after admitting to murdering a young couple in Wisconsin 30 years ago.

The 77-year-old Edwards sat handcuffed in his wheelchair during the hearing and made no comments to family members of his victims.

He also has confessed to killing a couple near Akron, Ohio, in 1977 and was sentenced 10 days ago to two life terms in that case. In a jailhouse interview with The Associated Press last week, Edwards said he had killed a fifth man — a 24-year-old he considered to be his foster son.

Edwards showed no emotion and spent most of the brief 20-minute sentencing with his head drooped, facing the ground.

Family members who packed the courtroom cried as relatives talked about the pain and loss they have felt for three decades since the murder of 19-year-old Wisconsin sweethearts Tim Hack and Kelly Drew.

“You are a lying, evil murderer and god is saving a special place in hell for you,” said Drew’s mother, Norma Walker.

While family members celebrated holidays and birthdays, Walker said her daughter was “in a cold, dark grave.” She told Edwards he deserved to be hanged.

Patrick Hack, who was 16 at the time of the murders, wiped away tears as he spoke about his brother’s slaying.

“I’ve been waiting 30 years to face the bastard who killed Tim and Kelly and now I just want to leave my anger and frustration right here today and never waste another second thinking about you,” he said. “May god show no mercy on your soul and may you rot in hell.”

In a statement read on her behalf in the court, Kelly Drew’s sister Wendy Drew called Edwards a “bottom feeder,” a “filthy coward” and a “vile, unthinking monster.”

“I’m glad that Wisconsin doesn’t have the death penalty because I want this despicable piece of garbage to fester in prison as long as possible,” her statement said.

An assistant prosecutor read a statement from Dave Hack, Tim Hack’s father.

“You seem to have no remorse and that is what is so frustrating to me,” he said.

“Mr. Edwards obviously committed the ultimate crime, the ultimate sin,” Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ told the judge.

The only time Edwards spoke in court was to say “no” when Judge William F. Hue asked if he wanted to make a statement.

Edwards’ attorney, public defender Jeffrey De La Rosa, said after the sentencing that Edwards had talked with him about the Wisconsin murders but that he could not disclose what was said.

Edwards, of Louisville, Ky., was arrested in July after DNA connected him to the deaths of Tim Hack and his girlfriend, Kelly Drew, who disappeared from a Wisconsin wedding reception in August 1980. Their bodies were found weeks later in the woods. Investigators believe Hack was stabbed and Drew strangled.

Edwards agreed to a plea deal earlier this month in which he admitted to both the Wisconsin murders and the killing of Judith Straub, 18, of Sterling, Ohio, and Bill Lavaco, 21, of Doylestown, Ohio. He shot each of them in the neck in a Norton, Ohio, park.

Edwards also did not speak to relatives of the victims at his sentencing in Ohio.

He got two life sentences for those slayings and under a plea deal will serve his prison time in Ohio. Ohio has the death penalty, but Edwards wasn’t eligible for it because a U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidated the punishment between 1974 and 1978.

In his AP interview last week, Edwards said he wanted to confess to the fifth murder of Dannie Boy Edwards in 1996 so he could be sentenced to death in Ohio.

It’s unclear if Edwards could receive the death penalty for that murder.

To recommend a death sentence, Ohio juries must find offenders guilty of a serious secondary offense — such as rape, arson or aggravated robbery — in addition to aggravated murder.

He has not been charged in Dannie Boy Edwards’ death.

Edwards spent much of his life running from the law, landing on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list in 1961. In his 1972 autobiography, “Metamorphosis of a Criminal,” he wrote he spent the 1950s and early 1960s drifting across the country, stealing cars, robbing banks and gas stations and seducing women he met along the way.
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