A Dayton man will spend 36 years to life in prison for the rape and strangulation murder of his son's mother. 

Man guilty of rape, murder sentenced to prison

Karl D. Coleman, 26, was found guilty last month by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury of murder, felonious assault, rape, attempted rape and tampering with evidence. The jury said Coleman killed DeMisha Mattison, 27, in May 2011 and left her bloodied body in a residence for hours with their 2-year-old son.

“I will be her voice so that she can finally get the justice she deserves,” Mattison’s mother, Rosie Moore, said during an emotional victim-impact statement. “She was the mother of your children. You didn’t think about that?”

As Mattison’s family cried in the gallery, Coleman said he loved Mattison, that nobody wanted to hear his side of the story and that his son was going to be deprived of the two people he needed most.

Judge Mary Katherine Huffman ruled Coleman must register as a Tier III sex offender if he ever is released from prison. Coleman received 174 days of jail-time credit.

“What (Huffman) did was entirely justified by the facts and the law,” prosecutor Tracey Ballard Tangeman said. “This case was an absolutely heartbreaking case.”

Prosecutors had asked Huffman to sentence Coleman to the maximum 36 years to life while defense attorney Jay Carter advocated for a sentence of 15 years to life.

“This was vicious,” Huffman told Coleman. “It was violent.”

In a pre-sentencing memorandum, prosecutors asked Huffman for 36 years to life, the maximum allowed.

“The defendant has shown no remorse whatsoever for this killing and brutal rape,” prosecutors wrote. “When the defendant left his own son for the last time, he chose to leave him — alone, in the dark, for hours, with his dead mother motionless, naked, bloody, and within the child’s reach. Simply put, the defendant not only murdered his child’s mother, he murdered his child’s innocence.”

In his sentencing memo, defense attorney Jay Carter argued for a sentence of 15 years to life, writing that Coleman hadn’t been convicted of a felony offense as an adult and that his juvenile criminal record did not include any violent offenses. “It is important for the Court to reasonably consider the concept of rehabilitation when sentencing him,” Carter wrote.

Moore said she was happy with the sentence, but that her daughter won’t see her son grow up.

“She missed his first day of school,” Moore said. “She’ll miss his graduation. She’ll miss his wedding. She’ll miss everything.”

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