Murphysboro man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his pa - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Murphysboro man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his parents

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. -- A man from Murphysboro will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his parents.

Judge Ralph Bloodworth sentenced Keith Ritcheson to two life sentences Thursday: One for the death of Brenda Ritcheson and the other for Burl Ritcheson.

Judge Bloodworth convicted him during a bench trial in September.

Keith lived with his parents at their home in Murphysboro but prosecutors say a conflict developed between them because Keith was an alcoholic.

The parents argued over kicking Keith out if he continued drinking, and in August 2017, prosecutors believe Keith shot and killed them both.

Despite the nature of the crime, a number of family members said in written statements to the court that they forgive Ritcheson.

They also expressed interest in having him imprisoned nearby so they can visit.

State's Attorney Mike Carr noted how unique the family's forgiveness towards Ritcheson.

"That's a very powerful expression of love," Carr said. "Not everyone would do that."

But he also argued for a life sentence as a deterrent for future crimes.

"This person took advantage of his parents good-willed nature," Carr said. "The evidence supports an enormous act of selfishness."

Ritcheson apologized to his family before Judge Bloodworth sentenced him.

"I have grown up around these people and I want them to know I am truly and deeply sorry," Ritcheson said. "This is so far beyond the scope of my normal behavior."

Prior to sentencing, Ritcheson's lawyer filed a motion for a new trial but the judge denied it.

He has 30 days to file an appeal.

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