ST. GEORGE -- A 34-year-old St. George man linked to the death of a homeless man on Halloween 2010 and a confrontation that left two women dead two months later was sentenced to a second life term in as many days.
Paul Clifford Ashton was sentenced Wednesday in connection with the death of Brandie Dawn Jerden, 27. Jerrica Christensen, 20, had been helping Jerden move out of Ashton's St. George townhouse in December 2010 when a fight ensued and Ashton killed Jerden.
Authorities said another man, Brandon Perry Smith, killed Christensen to silence her. Smith, 32, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in October.
"I guess this is as close to justice as I will get," Jessie Jerden, the victim's brother, told Ashton at the Wednesday hearing. "But it will never, never bring my sister back. . So I hope you live with that every day, the gravity of what you have taken from this world."
Ashton's lawyer, Douglas Terry, said that his client was addicted to methamphetamine and had suffered his own share of violence after being shot seven times and left for dead in Ogden in 2007.
Ashton offered a brief apology at his sentencing hearing.
"Looking back at the situation at hand, doing drugs to being out of control, it was a side of me I don't like," he said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. "I can only say for the victims, for the families, that I am truly, truly sorry."
A day earlier, Ashton was sentenced to life in federal prison plus 10 years in a separate case in which he pleaded guilty to kidnapping resulting in death and aiding in discharging a firearm.
According to prosecutors, Bradley Eitner was asleep on Ashton's couch when Ashton and another man carried him to a pickup truck, hit his head on a doorframe and struck him with a rock.
Eitner was dumped in the Arizona Strip desert and shot by Ashton's accomplice, authorities said. His body was found more than four months later.