Judge William Eichman told 42-year-old Kethan Lee Anderson that he acted as judge, jury and executioner in a case of street justice in which he strangled to death a fellow homeless man who was accused of sexually harassing his friend.
Eichman told Anderson he was appalled by his lack of remorse when he spoke with detectives telling them that killing was "the only significant thing you did in (his) entire life"
"That's sad," the judge said before sending him to prison for 50 years. "The court believes you are a danger to society."
Anderson, who had no prior felony convictions, faced between five years to life in prison after pleading guilty in October to a count of murder in the June 2018 killing of 51-year-old Richard Bradley Richards, whose skeletal remains were found in November of that year in the backyard of a condemned home in the 2100 block of 20th Street.
Eichman told Anderson none of the evidence presented to him showed his actions were justified.
"The victim did not deserve it," he said. "Even if he did what your co-defendant said he did."
Anderson's plea was not the result of a negotiation with the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office. Instead, he entered his plea and opted for Eichman to determine his punishment after a bench trial that began March 1 in the 364th District Court.
Anderson, who has been held at the Lubbock County Detention Center since his Dec. 3, 2018 arrest, is one of two people charged with murder in Richards' slaying. Anna Smith is awaiting trial for her role in Richards' murder.
Sunshine Stanek, the Lubbock County District Attorney, said the case summed up the problem of vigilante justice and Eichman's judgement was the appropriate response to Anderson's behavior.
"As angry or upset as you may be about a situation, we have to trust law enforcement to take care of those things," she said. "And, that was one of the biggest issues in this case is that he tried to take matters into his own hands and that is not the answer. "
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Judge hands 50-year prison sentence in Lubbock street justice slaying