MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 19-year-old homeless man was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted Thursday of first-degree murder for killing a man with a sword in north Minneapolis and setting his house on fire.
A jury found Jamil Joshua Eason guilty in the murder of 45-year-old Jay Arthur Rosio last November, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said. Eason was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, but he’ll be behind bars for at least 30 years.
At the sentencing, a statement written by Rosio’s mother was given. It called the murder of her son “violent and senseless” and said it caused their daughter to suffer a nervous breakdown.
“This was a good, decent and honest man,” Rosios’ cousin Steve Allen told the court. “He didn’t drink, do drugs or smoke. His co-workers loved him.”
The attorney’s office described the trial as swift. The jury began deliberating Wednesday and had a verdict by noon Thursday.
The murder happened on Nov. 2, 2012, when Eason broke into Rosio’s house on 3838 Humboldt Ave. N. When Eason encountered Rosio, a struggle broke out in which Eason beat and strangled Rosio, and then used a sword to stab and chop at his head. Eason then stole Rosio’s computer and cell phone, and set his house on fire.
Police found Eason through the stolen phone, which he sold to a business on the north side. Surveillance cameras captured him and helped police identify him as a suspect.
Eason is a known burglar, the attorney’s office said. He’s slated to be brought back to face two burglary charges in September.