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Judge gives Mishawaka man maximum sentence for beating neighbor to death

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -

The man who was convicted of beating his neighbor to death was given the maximum sentence in court Wednesday morning.

Last month, Donald Wilson was convicted of killing his neighbor, 67-year-old Joann Newgent, in August 2016.

Joann's niece, Christina Newgent, spoke in court before sentencing.

"We will speak up for her we will be her voice," said Christina.

Wilson was sentenced to 65-years in prison for murder.

"We take solace and gratitude that we at least know who did it and he’s paying for his crime and he’s going to pay for his crime," said Christina.

In August 2016, Joann asked Wilson, her neighbor, to turn his music down.

"Somebody was irritating her. She had no problem going to the door," Christina said.

That’s when Wilson snapped and beat Joann. She was taken to the hospital where she died.

"She loved to dance, loved to laugh. She had a great big huge smile, great big huge distinct laugh," Christina said.

While Joann's family will no longer hear her laugh, they take solace that her killer is locked away.

Wilson has been convicted of several crimes in the past – including reckless homicide.

"We’re saddened by this whole situation, but we’re happy that we have some kind of closure in it," Christina said.

After serving 65 years for murder, Wilson will serve an additional 6 years for illegal possession of a firearm, which was found in his home after the murder.

The two sentences will be served consecutively, for a total of 71 years in prison.

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