- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - A Kentucky man told the jury deciding whether to recommend putting him to death that he was filled “with great remorse and sorrow” for killing an 87-year-old Ohio woman and leaving her body in the trunk of her car.

Daniel French, 57, of Berea, took the stand Thursday and told the Butler County courtroom that he wishes he could change what happened.

“I destroyed a life. I caused great pain and suffering by my actions,” French said. “I became a monster that I believe was never there.”

The jury deliberated less than two hours last week before convicting French of aggravated murder for Barbara Howe’s 2012 slaying.

Prosecutors said French cut Howe’s throat after gaining entry to her home by posing as a maintenance worker in her Monroe retirement community.

The defense insisted French had no plan to kill her. On Wednesday, French’s brother testified that their father beat them as children.

Jurors can recommend death, life in prison without possible parole or life in prison with an eventual chance for parole. Judge Charles Pater will have the final say on the sentence.

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