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'Sledgehammer Murderer' Shawn Ford Given Death Penalty (Video)

| by Lauren Briggs

Shawn Ford Jr. was sentenced to death on Monday in Akron, Ohio, for beating his ex-girlfriend’s parents to death with a sledgehammer.

On April 2, 2013, Ford bludgeoned Margaret and Jeffrey Schobert to death with a sledgehammer, the Daily Mail reports. Ford and his accomplice, Jamal Vaughn, had first broken into the Schoberts' home and killed Jeffrey. Ford then used the man's phone to lure Margaret back to the house before killing her too. 

Ten days earlier, Ford beat and stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Chelsea Schobert, at a party after she allegedly refused to have sex with him. His motive for killing her parents with a sledgehammer, the prosecution argued, was that Ford was angry at the Schoberts for not letting him visit their daughter in the hospital.

Ford, 20, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, was found fit to face the death penalty. He had been convicted of the slayings in October 2014, and the jury recommended the death sentence.

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His defense unsuccessfully tried to apply the 2002 case Atkins v. Virginia as precedent, where the Supreme Court ruled that a defendant with a mental disability is not eligible for the death penalty, and that this would be considered cruel and unusual punishment, according to Inquisitr. Ford’s lawyers argued that his IQ, which scored between 64 and 80, was too low for him to be responsible for his actions and that he had suffered from mental disorders since he was a child.

"I want to say sorry to the whole Schobert family, sorry to my family, sorry to everybody I let down," he said Monday, shortly before the court sentenced him to death.

When Jessica Schobert, Chelsea’s sister and the couple’s oldest daughter, was on the stand, she looked Ford in the eye (video below).

"Shawn, to you I say it has been said so many times how good they were to you," she stated through tears. "They did not judge you. They welcomed you. They loved you as their own and they would have done anything to help you.

"If they were here today, they would forgive you," she added. "And I say to you that you may never know the full extent of what you've done because what you took from this world are two people who truly saw you as I believe God sees you, without any kind of prejudice, and that is something you will never get back."

Ford's execution date is scheduled for Dec. 29, 2015, NewsNet5 reports. However, an appeal is automatic in a death penalty case; thus the execution will most likely be delayed.

Sources: Daily Mail, NewsNet5, Inquisitr

Image Source: Portage County Jail, NewsNet5 Screenshot