GOSHEN, Ind. (WWJ/AP) – An 18-year-old Michigan man has been sentenced to 51 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering an Elkhart man.

The Elkhart Truth reports Brandon Johnston of Three Rivers, Michigan, told Judge Terry Shewmaker during Thursday’s sentencing that in the past he had received marijuana, synthetic marijuana, alcohol and pills from James Grant, who also was known as “Tyrannosaurus Rex Mullens.”

Grant, 69, was stabbed 23 times in his home in the early hours of Aug. 2. His body was found two days later.  An autopsy revealed that he died of multiple sharp force injuries to the chest, neck and head.

Grant was a registered sex offender who in 1996 was found guilty on two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. In letters to the court, Johnston’s mother and other family members asked for leniency, citing a possible ongoing molestation the last few years.

“I’m not going to make an excuse or try to justify what I did,” Johnston told the court. “I don’t want people to think I’m a psychopath or a monster.”

Johnston had agreed during his plea hearing to a prison sentence of no more than 55 years.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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