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Sallee Sentenced To Life In Prison
Updated April 6, 2015 7:20 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(COLUMBUS) - A Columbus man will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Samuel Sallee was sentenced in the May 2013 shooting deaths of 53-year-old Katheryn Burton, her 39-year-old boyfriend Thomas Smith, and two friends, 41-year-old Aaron Cross and 41-year-old Shawn Burton, both of Columbus. Katheryn Burton also suffered stab wounds.

The jury determined 57-year-old Sallee shot and killed the four people inside a house in Waynesville. Police believe the shootings may have been connected to a suspected methamphetamine drug deal. Sallee denied involvement in the victims' deaths, claiming he was an undercover drug informant.

In the second phase of the trial, the jury voted on Sallee's punishment. Jury members unanimously recommended a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Judge Steve Heimann noted several aggravating circumstances before sentencing Sallee including 18 criminal convictions over Sallee's lifetime. Judge Heimann sentenced Sallee to life in prison without possibility of parole on each of the four counts.

Sallee says he will appeal saying he was not adequately represented by his defense counsel, David Nowak and Christopher Blair, who were appointed by the court. Specifically, Sallee told the judge he is concerned about photographs that the jury got to see without him being present, the prosecution having access to experts and other resources that Sallee felt he was denied and that his defense team failed to ask the right questions of witnesses and failed to refute claims that he was a "chronic meth user."

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