Steven Earl Lomax Jr., pleaded not guilty to shooting his brother-in-law to death on Easter morning. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A man convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his brother-in-law on Easter morning was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison.
Steven Earl Lomax Jr., 33, told police he decided Easter morning to kill Richard Lee Swann to stop what he believed was a cycle of physical and mental abuse directed at his sister, according to a court document.
Lomax was on the phone to a 911 operator when he was arrested about 8:45 a.m. Easter morning after the 42-year-old Swann was shot. Swann died at a hospital about 4 p.m. that day and Lomax was booked into jail on a charge of first-degree murder.
Lomax said that when he arrived at the house near 81st Avenue and Indian School Road, he asked the rest of the family to go for a walk, retrieved a handgun and shot Swann multiple times in a bedroom, according to the document.
Debra Swann, Richard Swann, two children and Lomax reportedly lived in the house together, according to the document.
Lomax later told his sister, Debra Swann, "I killed your husband," and she called 911 to report the shooting, according to the document. While on the phone with police, Lomax allegedly shot the victim one more time, according to the document.
Lomax reportedly told police that he thought the only way to end the cycle of alleged abuse was to kill the victim, the document stated.
Swann was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition, where he later died, said Phoenix police Officer James Holmes.
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