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Courts

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Beating death draws 50-year sentence

An Auburn man was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday for brutally beating another man to death last year.

Michael R. Alexander, 34, was pulled over while in another man’s car and covered in blood last August.

He also had that man’s wallet and was drunk, according to Allen Superior Court records.

The following morning, the body of 42-year-old Gregory A. Funich was discovered in his blood-splattered home.

Funich’s skull had been crushed, according to court documents.

Alexander eventually pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a minimum sentence of 40 years in prison.

During a hearing before an Allen Superior Court judge Friday, Alexander’s defense team couched their words when explaining what happened the night of Funich’s death.

They said the two had been drinking and that drugs may have been involved, and that they engaged in “consensual behavior.”

Then, a defense attorney for Alexander said, Funich disclosed that he had “a disease” that Alexander “might now have.”

Alexander “saw red,” his defense team said, and then killed Funich.

In a brief statement to the court, Alexander said he took responsibility for his actions.

Funich’s family and his partner of 13 years spoke on his behalf Friday. None of them were ready to forgive.

“I think you’re a piece of (expletive) and I hope you rot in hell,” said Funich’s brother, Sam Funich Jr., to Alexander.

Judge Fran Gull gave Alexander a 50-year sentence because of a previous criminal history that included two assault and battery charges in another state.

Alexander was on parole and probation for other crimes at the time of the killing.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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