Photo: Port Clinton News Herald
PUT-IN-BAY -- A man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a 2011 murder on Put-In-Bay.
Zachary Brody, 27, was sentenced in the death of Westlake native, Phil Masterson, in an emotional hearing this afternoon.
Georgeanne Masterson, the victim's mother, read a heart-wrenching statement saying in part, "When you lose a child, you lose the future. Mr. Brody has changed the history of my family. ... Mr. Brody is a coward. He's a liar and he is evil."
Phil Masterson was an up and coming mixed martial arts competitor and at 25 had his whole life in front of him. Last Labor Day weekend on South Bass Island he fought with Brody after a night of partying. Brody too was trained in mixed martial arts. The result was deadly.
When the identified Masterson, the victim, as the aggressor, Georgeanne Masterson left the courtroom in anger. "This guy is lying. Mr. Prosecutor do your job!"
According to prosecutors, Brody put Masterson in a choke hold and then punched him while he was unconscious. Brody then dragged Masterson into the woods and left him there.
Masterson died of his injuries hours later before anyone could find him.
Brody, broke down in court as he apologized to the Masterson family. "I failed myself. I know I failed my family. Most of all I failed Phil Masterson. For that I beg your forgiveness."
The judge, however, was unmoved by Brody and told him the beating was the most brutal he had seen in his 37 years on the bench. He then sentenced him to 16 years in prison.
Brody had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence as part of a plea deal in which more serious charges including murder were dropped.
The sentence was the maximum available to the judge on the remaining charges.