HARRODSBURG — Despite a defense request Tuesday for a lesser penalty, a judge sentenced a man convicted of murder to life in prison without parole for 25 years.
In doing so, Mercer Circuit Judge Darren Peckler followed the recommendation of a jury that convicted Paul Estes last month of killing his ex-girlfriend's mother.
Estes, 40, was convicted in the 2009 death of Debora Brooks, 43, who was smothered with a pillow as she slept.
Defense attorney Rebecca Lytle asked the judge to use his discretion and reduce the recommended sentence.
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"I firmly believe in juries and I know this court does, too," Lytle said. "And I know it would be a very odd thing for the court to do this, but I think if there were ever a case, this is the case, your honor.
"All I'd like this court to do is to consider lowering this, as the court has power to do, to a regular life sentence, your honor," Lytle said. "That would be my request."
But Peckler said he would abide by the jury's recommendation of life without parole.
A co-defendant, Megan Brooks, Debora Brooks' daughter, pleaded guilty in 2011 to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter, hindering prosecution or arrest, and tampering with evidence.
She is serving a total of 17 years on the three charges. Megan Brooks was denied parole in 2012 and is eligible for parole again in December, according to the Kentucky Department of Corrections.