Father gets 60 years for beating wife, dog to death with bat

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John Eaton asks the judge to issue the strongest punishment for his son-in-law Joe Mauti - convicted of killing his daughter Lindsey Mauti.

"I ask that you give him life in prison and I hope every day you are in prison I hope you get the (expletive) kicked out of you, because you need it," he said.

Prosecutors say in May of 2015, Joe Mauti waited for his wife to put their two children to bed inside their Independence Township home. When she walked downstairs he was waiting with a baseball bat.

Joe Mauti beat her to death and then carried her lifeless body into the garage.

The family's dog was found lying beside the Clarkston teacher's aide - killed the same way.

"This tragedy has sickened me," Eaton said. "Joe has taken our daughter from our family, cheating her children from growing up with a mother. He is an evil, nasty person."

Initially Mauti, 34, was charged with first degree murder. But after deliberating, a jury convicted him of second degree murder and animal cruelty, despite the fact he was a habitual offender and was on probation for beating his wife the year before.

Friends and family, especially Lindsay's mother, struggled with that verdict. The prosecutor read some of her words in court:

"The evidence proved it was premeditated, with his calling Lindsey repeatedly, calling his parents, begging for her to return home and the front door screwed shut days earlier before her returning back home, the routine of  dinner, baths and bed times for the children, the disabling of the garage door and waiting for her to come home."

Before sentencing - Joe Mauti tried to explain his actions.

"I would like to apologize to my children, my son Carson and my daughter Amelia, and ask for their forgiveness," Joe Mauti said. "I am very sorry for my conduct. (I've been) struggling with my mental illness during the events of their mother's passing."

"I never saw any remorse any emotion of any kind certainly not tears," Judge Chabot said. "I think even though there is disagreement on the verdict, I think there is one thing we can all agree on and that is Joe Mauti is a murderer."

After taking that into consideration and the brutal nature of the murder - and the long term impact on the children who were at home at the time, Judge Rae Lee Chabot decided to exceed the sentencing guidelines, giving Mauti 60 years to life behind bars.

Several in the courtroom cheered at the judge's decision - sarcastically saying "bye-bye" as Mauti was escorted out of the courtroom.

The children are now with Lindsey's parents and are said to be traumatized after what happened to their mother.