Jon Paul Marston stabbed 65-year-old Wanda Wohnig 25 times when he killed her. More than a year after the heinous act, the victim's daughter told a courtroom about how the murder left many without a loving mother, a sister, a Nanna and a friend.
"He took her," Trina Tucci said, standing feet from her mother's killer. "He took my mom away from me."
As a result, Circuit Court Judge Steven John took most of Marston's adult life away and sentenced the 33-year-old to 42 years in prison. Marston was in court Thursday for sentencing after he previously pleaded guilty to murder for slaying Wohnig. Marston faced up to life in prison.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor Lauree Richardson said Marston stabbed Wohnig, who worked at a laundromat within the Socastee Plaza at 4505 Socastee Blvd. The attack occurred in June 2016, and Richardson said Marston told his father about the crime. Police also found blood on his pants.
Defense attorney Kia Wilson said when Marston committed the crime, he was coming down from a drug high. While the fact did not excuse the crime, she felt it provided mitigating circumstances.
Marston briefly spoke to John and told the court that no matter what he said, it was not going to take back the murder. He added he ruined numerous lives because of his crime and wanted to apologize.
"I know what I've done is wrong," he said.
Wilson said her client pleaded guilty and avoided the cost of the trial for the state and he didn't put the Wohnig family through those proceedings. He was apologetic for his crime, she said.
"This isn't about trying to avoid responsibility, this is about standing up and taking responsibility," she said.
The defense asked the court to sentence Marston to 30 or 40 years in prison, as that would still allow him time in his later life to be released as a rehabilitated member of society.
No sentence could adequately address the crime and the victims were only left with memories, John said. But, he also recognized that Marston pleaded and accepted responsibility without a trial.