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'Pile of worthless evil’ - Jason Dalton hears from those touched by rampage

During a sentencing hearing that lasted more than 90 minutes, Jason Dalton heard from 10 family members of those he killed three years ago this month. He also heard from a shooting survivor.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Before he was sentenced to life in prison, Jason Dalton heard from 11 people touched by his Feb. 20, 2016 shooting spree. They included family members of the six killed and a young mother who survived multiple gunshots.

Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court lasted more than 90 minutes. The prosecutor and the judge also addressed Dalton, who did not speak. Below is a sampling of what was said:

Credit: WZZM
Christopher Nye addresses Jason Dalton at a sentencing hearing Tuesday. Nye's wife and sister were murdered by Dalton.

Christopher C. Nye, husband of Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda and brother of Mary Jo Nye, 60, of Battle Creek

“The world has lost two women whose only goal in life was to take care of children. My wife worked in the day care center and took care of little babies and my sister was a teacher.’’ 

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Bart Nye, son of Mary Lou Nye, addresses Jason Dalton before he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on six counts of murder. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Bart Nye, son of Mary Lou Nye

“She is the sunlight. And the sun is gone.’’

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Penny Hawthorne, Barbara Hawthorne's sister-in-law, addresses Jason Dalton before he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on six counts of murder. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Penny Hawthorne, sister-in-law of Barbara Ann Hawthorne, 68, of Battle Creek

“You just decided to go with your guns, your weapons of choice, and shoot. You affected the lives of not only eight people, you affected the lives of their families, their friends, their future, their communities and the world.’'

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Laura Hawthorne, niece of Barbara Hawthorne, addresses Jason Dalton before he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on six counts of murder. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Laura Hawthorne, niece of Barbara Ann Hawthorne

“He may have taken six lives, but he destroyed countless others.’’ 

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Jeff Reynolds, son of Dorothy "Judy" Brown, addresses Jason Dalton. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Jeff Reynolds, son of Dorothy ‘Judy’ Brown, 74, of Battle Creek

“We will never have a day when we can walk free of the devastating loss that you needlessly caused. I trust that the almighty God will haunt you eternally, starting now, with the fact that you are nothing but a pile of worthless evil.’’

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Emily Lemmer's father and brother were murdered at a Kalamazoo car dealership. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Emily Lemmer, daughter of Richard Smith, Jr., 53, and sister of Tyler Smith, 17, of Kalamazoo

“Seeing them laying there lifeless was absolutely heart-breaking. Hugging and holding my dad’s cold body was a nightmare that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Kissing my brother’s cold, pale forehead will never leave my mind.’’ 

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Laurie Smith, whose husband Rich and son Tyler, 17, were killed, addresses Jason Dalton. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Laurie Smith, wife of Richard Smith, Jr. and mother of Tyler Smith

“Every day I wake up to the reality that two people that I loved more than life itself are gone. I feel my heart and soul have been completely ripped out and destroyed beyond repair.’’

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Shooting survivor Tiana Carruthers addresses Jason Dalton. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Tiana Carruthers, 28, shooting survivor

“I pause, replay and relive every single moment. Just can’t stop living in the past.  But it feels so fresh, waking up in cold sweats. That you, Jason Dalton, might come again and empty your full clip.’’ 

Credit: Joel Bissell
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Getting said Jason Dalton's transfer to prison is a cause for celebration. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Getting

“I hope that every morning, you wake up seeing the faces of those you’ve killed and injured. When you lay down at night, I hope the last thought is the damage that you’ve done to this community. To those families. To your own.’’ 

Credit: Joel Bissell | MLive.com
Judge Alexander C. Lipsey sentenced Dalton to six terms of mandatory life in prison. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Alexander Lipsey

“By your actions, Kalamazoo has been given an opportunity to show the world, in the words of archbishop Tutu, that goodness is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Light is stronger than darkness. Life is stronger than death. And victory is ours because of Him who loves us.’’ 

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