MAN SENTENCED IN WOMAN’S DEATH
Randy E. Hamilton sentenced to 151⁄2 years in girlfriend’s 2016 shooting death
Randy E. Hamilton learned Nov. 13 he will spend the next 15 years and six months in prison for the shooting death of his 45-year-old live-in girlfriend.
Hamilton was found guilty Nov. 7 of two counts of reckless homicide and single counts of involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, having weapons under disability and receiving stolen property after shooting and killing Michelle L. Ryals in their Avon Belden Road home Oct. 25, 2016, with a gun stolen from the Lorain County Airport.
Jurors acquitted Hamilton of two counts of murder in the case.
Ryals’ mother, Mary Utt, wept Nov. 13 as she addressed Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi before the sentence was handed down.
Utt said she received a call from her daughter on the day of the murder claiming Hamilton
“The shock of her death almost killed me.” — Michelle L. Ryals’ mother, Mary Utt
had found text messages between Ryals and her exhusband on her cell phone and that this would cause problems in the home.
“She said, ‘I’ll call you when I get back from work,’ but she never did,” Utt said holding back tears. “He intentionally shot her in a drunken, jealous rage. And I know that. It was no accident.”
Utt asked the court how many more women would be abused or killed before someone stops Hamilton.
“I’ve lost my lunch partner; I’ve lost my shopping companion; I’ve lost my baby,” she said.
Utt said a few years ago, she sold her home in Cleveland and bought one in North Ridgeville to be closer to Ryals.
But now that Ryals is dead, she said she is all alone.
“The shock of her death almost killed me,” Utt said. “I still can’t believe it. I’m hoping Randy dies in prison, and when he does die I hope he burns in hell forever.”
Ryals’ sister, Joan Garven also addressed the court.
Garven read a statement from another sister Kathy Utt and one for herself.
Kathy Utt’s statement dealt with her own work with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Planning Board.
“With Michelle’s murder, I know now that nothing works,” the statement said. “The system is broken. It’s shattered. I’m disgusted and disillusioned.”
Kathy Utt wrote that after the conclusion of this case, she can’t write grants and no longer wants to help felons.
She said the grief of her sister’s death is killing her mother.
In Garven’s own statement, she described her own experience dealing with Ryals’ death and taking care of the Avon Belden Road home she was killed in.
“I find her last load of laundry in the dryer,” Garven said. “She didn’t know she was going to die that day. It’s too much. It’s overwhelming. I’m too angry.”
Lorain County Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Cillo placed a framed photo of Ryals on the prosecution desk.
Cillo requested Miraldi give Hamilton the maximum sentence allowed citing his history of convictions in courts throughout Lorain County for incidents including head-butting his daughter, stealing and shooting his daughter’s dog and multiple alcohol-involved incidents.
“He has an extensive criminal history of convictions, your honor,” Cillo said. “The defendant has not responded favorably to sanctions previously done. This is a prodigious stack of sanctions that he’s faced and it has not slowed down. It has increased over that time, your honor.”
Defense attorney Kenneth Lieux asked Miraldi to sentence Hamilton “accordingly.”
Lieux said his client would not make a statement due to his intention to appeal.
Speaking after the sentence was pronounced, Garven said she wished the jury in Hamilton’s case had heard what was said before sentencing.
“They didn’t hear half of what should have been told,” she said. “If they had been aware they could have found him guilty of murder.
“It wasn’t reckless, it was on purpose. He knew what he was doing. He always knew what he was doing.”
Mary Utt added Hamilton intended to kill her daughter.
“The gun was not in her room,” she said. “He’s as guilty as could be of murder.”
“The defendant has not responded favorably to sanctions previously done. This is a prodigious stack of sanctions that he’s faced and it has not slowed down. It has increased over that time, your honor.” — Lorain County Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Cillo
Randy E. Hamilton, 51, appears before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi on Nov. 13. The North Ridgeville man was sentenced to 15 years and six months in prison for the Oct. 25, 2016, shooting death of Michelle L. Ryals, 45, his live-in girlfriend.
Michelle L. Ryals’ mother, Mary Utt, makes a statement during the sentencing hearing of Randy E. Hamilton, Nov. 13. “I’ve lost my lunch partner. I’ve lost my shopping companion. I’ve lost my baby.” Utt said while addressing the court. Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi sentenced the North Ridgeville man to 15 years and six months in prison for the Oct. 25, 2016 shooting death of Ryals.
Randy E. Hamilton appears in Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi’s courtroom for sentencing, Nov. 13.