KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Judge Mark Trusock’s decision on a sentence for Karl Cotton, Jr. left no questions.
“I am sentencing you to the Michigan Department of Corrections to serve a term of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.”
The family of Jamie Powell greeted the words with applause inside a Kent County courtroom.
It’s the end of a long journey for justice for the family of the 30-year-old woman shot and killed by Cotton in March 2011.
Cotton had met Powell’s ex-boyfriend at Jamie’s unit at the Old Orchard Apartments for a drug deal. Police say Jamie wasn’t involved in the deal in any way.
Before Cotton’s sentence, Jim Powell finally got to speak face-to-face with his daughter’s killer.
“Karl Cotton, Jr…I’ve been waiting for this moment for 23 months and nine days,” he said,
“I’ve wanted to see you dead for what you did to my daughter. I’d love for Judge Trusock to release you to our family. I’d take you to the farm where Jamie was raised and I’d hang you.”
Cotton maintained his innocence when he got his chance to talk.
“I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the victim’s family. I sympathize with your loss. However, I stand before this court as a wrongful accused and convicted man.”
Cotton complained to the court that he wasn’t truly given a jury of his peers and that his defense team was “woefully ineffective.”
Judge Trusock told the 25-year-old there was no basis for any of those claims.
Cotton appeared to mock the Powell family as he left the courtroom.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Karl,” one family member sarcastically said.
Cotton returned the sentiment in a similar tone.
“Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, ma’am.”