YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The man convicted in a brutal Thanksgiving Day murder was sentenced Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Leo Kellish, 33, was sentenced to 15-years-to-life in prison for the November 2013 beating death of 70-year-old Dennis Simmons.
Simmons’ body was found outside his Shirley Road home in Youngstown on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2013.
When officers arrived at the scene, Kellish came out of the house wearing only underwear with blood on his hands and chest.
Prosecutors described the homicide as heinous, saying Kellish used several instruments to beat Simmons, including a pan. They said he hit Simmons so hard it bent the handle.
A jury was being seated earlier this week when Kellish decided to enter a plea of guilty to one count of murder.
Kellish was shaking Thursday as he appeared before the judge and apologized for the murder.
Simmons’ niece, Kelley Jenkins, said the family believes justice was served but are struggling to forgive Kellish.
“I really don’t have a choice but right now that is a little bit hard to do,” Jenkins said.
Kellish will be eligible for parole in 15 years. Simmons’ family said they will be present for every parole hearing to make sure he stays behind bars.