CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Thomas Knuff was in prison for 15 years. When he got out, his prison pen pal Regina Capobianco and her boyfriend John Mann took him in.
Within a month, a jury ruled that he murdered them.
At his sentencing on Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia complained that, at times during the trial, the victims were the ones on trial.
“The manner and fashion that their names were disparaged in this courtroom is disgusting to me,” Fraglia told Judge Deena Calabrese.
“It was like stepping into a horror movie,” said the judge.
After the killings, water records show a large amount was used as Knuff rushed to clean up. He removed carpet and went so far as trying to find someone to torch the home to hide evidence.
Survivors of the murdered pair told the judge the pain and horror continue for them.
“He’s had a chance to plead for his life and I’m sure my sister pleaded for her life,” said Toni Bender, who is Capobianco’s sister.
In an odd twist, Jonathan Mann, the son of John, said the death penalty was necessary to help him heal but that it’s tremendous cost in legal appeals would be better spent elsewhere saying.
“I will beg to anyone who will listen to spare his life.”
Knuff got two death sentences and decades more for other crimes while denying everything, saying, “The Parma Heights Police force and prosecutors who lied and put me on the stand and lied, everybody’s going to have to answer for it.”
One person had an answer quickly. It was the Judge.
“As a defendant in my courtroom, I have hardly see someone with so little remorse as you,” she said to Knuff.
At trial, Knuff was described as manipulative.
A man who convinced his prison pen pal Capobianco to take him in, and after killing her and Mann, convinced a prison guard he had a sexual relationship with her to help him cover up the killings.