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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --A Louisville man was sentenced to 20 years Monday afternoon after he pleaded guilty to stalking a woman and murdering her husband in Aug. 2011.
Jason Majors was calm, cool and collected when he quietly told Jefferson County Circuit Judge McKay Chauvin he was ready to plead guilty to murder and first degree stalking, in connection with the shooting death of Karenzo Audace.
Majors was accused of killing Audace at the Parkway Place housing complex. The Audace family was trying to move out of their apartment when the father of three was shot and killed. Prosecutors say Majors had become obsessed with Audace's wife and had been stalking her.
Previously, a jury had found Majors guilty of tampering with physical evidence, but was split on the charges of murder and stalking. That split resulted in a mistrial.
Monday's guilty plea eliminated the need for a second trial.
Judge McKay sentenced Majors to 20 years, including 20 years for murder, five years for stalking and five years for tampering with physical evidence. Those sentences will run concurrently, for a total sentence of 20 years.
Majors could be eligible for parole after 85 percent of his sentence is served. By pleading guilty, Majors avoided the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Jones Brown says the guilty plea will be bittersweet news for Audace's family.
"Obviously, I believe that true justice for Mr. Audace would be a longer sentence," she said.
But she added that the behavior of the jury at McKay's trial showed that pushing the case to a second trial could have posed risks.
"The jury hung, and we were told by jurors who contacted us that it was eight to four: eight for murder, and four for manslaughter," she said. "So that certainly played into my decision to take a murder plea on the low end, instead of trying again for the maximum sentence."
The family, she said, had gone into hiding.
As for any remorse on Majors' part, when the judge asked him if he had anything he wanted to say during the hearing, his response was brief.
"No, I'm okay."
Brown says she wasn't surprised by Majors' loss for words.
"I don't think an apology would do anything at this point, and I don't know what the family would think about that anyway," Brown said.
For now, she says the family would rather the public remember their loved one.
"Nobody had a bad thing to say about him," she said. "It is truly a loss for our community that he was killed."