(WGN-AM)- A 31-year old man who beat a widowed St. Charles mother of four to death with a hammer while she was delivering pizza was sentenced to 81 years in prison on Monday.
Bradley Justice of Sandwich, Ill., showed no emotion when DuPage County Judge Peter Dockery called him "cold, malicious, vicious, grossly ruthless and motivated to buy drugs" while sentencing him for the Nov. 2, 2006 murder of Karen Hassan, 41.
Chicago while delivering a pizza, chicken wings and soda that Justice had ordered.
Assistant State's Atty. Robert Berlin told Dockery that minutes after repeatedly striking Hassan in the face and head with a hammer, "he went out and purchased cocaine using stolen money."
"Like many other delivery people, it's a dangerous living when you have no idea what will meet you at the door for a $2.50 or $3 a delivery," said Berlin, who had asked for a life sentence.
Dockery said he was aware of Justice's statements to probation department officials expressing remorse and taking responsibility for his actions, "but you were using cocaine before, during and after the murder."
Justice was arrested the next day in downstate Tuscola when he was traced after using Hassan's stolen cell phone. Hassan had turned on, hit the redial button on her cell phone when she was approached by her attacker, prosecutors say. The call reached the answering service of a St. Charles attorney, which routinely recorded messages.
Hassan was heard asking, "What are you doing?" An indistinguishable voice was heard in the background, along with sounds of an apparent struggle.
Nicholas Hassan, one of the victim's four sons, told Dockery in a statement on behalf of his family that his widowed mother, "was no match for Bradley Justice, who was twice her strength ... It was so brutal, I can't understand why."
Dockery sentenced Justice to 75 years for the murder and a consecutive six-year sentence for the armed robbery. He pleaded guilty to both crimes in April.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
Get the latest news at the top and bottom of every hour on Chicago's WGN Radio 720