- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - A Beaumont man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in the stabbing death of maintenance worker last year.

A judge on Monday sentenced 39-year-old Samuel Thomas to life in prison in the April death of John Neff, also of Beaumont. Thomas pleaded guilty to murder last month.

Police officers in April found Neff’s body in the backyard of the home where Thomas was living. Prosecutors said Thomas stabbed Neff, his family’s maintenance worker, to death with a knife.

Thomas’ attorney, Hayden Cribbs, argued Thomas was mentally incapable of showing remorse.

Thomas has been diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia, but a court-appointed doctor determined Thomas was not insane during the slaying.

He is eligible for parole after 30 years.

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