CROWN POINT | A Michigan City man who admitted killing a mentally challenged woman with an ax was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison.
Johnnathan A. Fuller, 40, pleaded guilty in March to voluntary manslaughter, and in exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of abuse of a corpse and altering the scene of death.
Fuller is accused of luring Sylvia Marie Jones to a Gary beach where he told her to dig up money he had buried, according to court records. He used an ax to bludgeon the woman seven times and cut her hands. He buried her in the hole she had dug, according to the affidavit.
Fuller spoke softly before the court and said he did not mean to kill Jones.
"I wanted to scare someone," he said. "It just went wrong."
He apologized to all the people who have been hurt by the death. He also said he has lost his children who have since moved out of the country.
Jones' body was found Aug. 30, 2010, and the Lake County coroner's investigation indicated Jones could have been dead for three to six months before she was found, according to the affidavit.
She was reported missing in Chesterton in January 2011, and family members told officers they had not spoken to Jones for about two years.
Fuller was charged in 2012 while he was serving time in the Wabash Correctional Facility in Carlisle.
According to court records, Jones lived in the same Michigan City mobile home park as Fuller. At some point, Fuller gained power of attorney over the woman's finances including money she received from Social Security.
Fuller told his ex-wife he wanted to get rid of Jones because she was having sexual relations with his son and was talking to strangers on the Internet, according to the affidavit. A man also told police Fuller had admitted to killing Jones.
According to the Indiana Department of Correction, Fuller was previously convicted and served time in prison on charges of neglect of a dependent, fraud, attempted theft and sexual battery.