WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man accused of murdering his own sister in Howland in December changed his plea in court Thursday morning.
Bradley Milligan, 48, pleaded guilty in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to aggravated murder. Prosecutors said he bludgeoned his sister, Laura Michael, 51, to death with his fist and then slit her throat.
Her body was found hidden in the basement of their Howland home on Dec. 17. Michael’s daughter said her mother would keep taking her uncle in despite the fights he would have with her while he was under the influence.
“She just didn’t have the heart to keep him away. Also, he should have had help. He should have been committed a long time ago,” said Veronica Baragona. “She was funny. She was just there for me and my little girl. And whenever I needed her, she was right there.”
Michael’s other daughter, Katina, who was pregnant at the time of the murder, said her mother was her best friend.
“The loss of her has been such a devastation to me in what should have been one of the happiest times in my life. And he took her and that precious time and moments away,” Katina said.
Michael’s best friend and neighbor told Milligan in court that he has ruined all of their lives.
“She was a beautiful, wonderful person. A wonderful mother. She would give you the shirt off her back. And after everything that she has done, no one would do anything for you and she always opened that door for you,” said Dreama Lamantia.
Baragona said her uncle is an alcoholic and despite what Milligan did to her mother, a piece of her still does love him. She said this is a lesson to others out there who may be in similar circumstances.
“There were so many signs. Act right away. Don’t wait. Get somebody help,” Baragona said.
Milligan did not say anything before he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.