Anderson gets life without parole for 33 years

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

In his own words, he committed a “sin.” With that acknowledgement, John David Anderson Friday was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 33 years.

The sin the 20-year-old Anderson referred to was the grisly death last year of elderly Arthur Eugene Boyer, who was found stabbed and shot in his burning home in Deering— a crime for which Anderson could have gotten the death penalty. Lawrence County authorities who responded to the fire determined Boyer had been robbed and murdered and the fire set to cover the other crimes. Anderson was apprehended hours later at a Hitchins, Ky., home where he had been staying.

During court proceedings Friday morning in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Anderson did not speak when Judge Richard Walton asked if he had anything to say. But his attorney, Charles Knight, said Anderson had been “remorseful from day one” and had written a letter of apology to the Boyer family.

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“I wish I could go back in time and change what I have done on the night of July 20, 2005,” Anderson wrote. “But I cannot. … As I set

(sic) in jail with a drug free mind, as I thank (sic) about what I have done to all of you, I am asking God, family, friend and love (sic) ones, and the state of Ohio to forgive me for what I have done.”

Anderson received life without parole for 30 years for the aggravated murder charge and an additional three years because he used a gun in commission of his crimes. State law requires him to serve those two sentences consecutively. He also pleaded guilty to seven other charges against him, including aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, grant theft (Boyer’s vehicle and guns), tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. Sentences for those charges will be served concurrently with the life sentence for the murder.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., called the case “a heinous, serious crime” and

that Boyer at at one point even begged Anderson for his life. He said the sentence was a just resolution; the plea agreement was made and the death penalty taken off the table to ensure the case would not be appealed.

Both Knight and Collier praised the work of detectives in the case, Dave Marcum, of the prosecutor’s office and Aaron Bollinger, of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, for their work to solve the case and catch Boyer’s Killer.

“They did an outstanding job,” Collier said. “They were able to solve the crime in a matter of hours with very little to go on.” Knight made a point of shaking their hands as they left the courtroom Friday.