Illinois man gets 55 years in stabbing of cousin in Indiana

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An Illinois man has been sentenced to 55 years in prison in the 2017 murder of his cousin, who was stabbed 63 times and found near a road in Indiana.

Derrick Lavelle Wandrick, 36, was sentenced in Kosciusko Circuit Court Monday for the murder of 21-year-old David Lamont Strowder Jr., according to court records. The Elkhart man was found in a ditch in October 2017.

Wandrick, of Harvey, Illinois, claimed he has no recollection of the incident. His attorney, Jay Rigdon, said in court that his client is sorry.

“He is as sorry as sorry can be,” Rigdon said, according to The (Warsaw) Times-Union “He’s got a family member who is no longer alive and he doesn’t have a clue why.”

But Judge Michael Reed said he didn’t hear remorse or evidence of drug use or mental illness, as Wandrick’s mother suggested in court.

“I really never heard from you that you’re sorry,” Reed said. “I never heard any remorse from you, sir. To do something like that to someone you’re close with, with no explanation, blows my mind.” Under the plea deal, Wandrick will also pay roughly $2,500 in restitution to Strowder’s family for funeral expenses.

The victim’s family was in court but declined comment.

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