Man Who Claimed To Be Serial Killer Sentenced To Jail Time

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A man who told authorities he was a serial killer, then later admitted it was a hoax, was sentenced to prison as a judge scolded him.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jane Bond on Monday gave Jason West nine years in prison for auto theft, burglary and arson for burning a stolen car. He could have gotten as much as 15 years.

Bond also ordered West to pay $12,372.60 in victims' restitution. She credited him with 231 days served in Summit County Jail.

And although he wasn't charged with any crimes related to his hoax, it was clear that his toying with the public's fear didn't do him any favors. Despite West's apology, Bond was not sympathetic.

"It's not a game to tell stories about taking someone else's life," Bond said.

The 29-year-old West responded, "I understand."

"No, sir -- you do not," Bond shot back.

His claim -- that he killed 29 women in seven states -- led Summit County sheriff's deputies on widespread investigation in which no evidence was found.

As part of his plea bargain, officials agreed not to seek restitution for the cost of the investigation. But they did push for a 10-year sentence.

Capt. Larry Momchilov, who led the sheriff's investigations of West, said he has heard from many others who were frightened by West's tales of murder.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)