Forty-seven-year-old Donald Howard's sentencing Wednesday was a formality, because his February conviction on second-degree murder and other charges carried a mandatory sentence for the Union City man.
Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri says Howard was desperate for money to buy crack cocaine and killed 79-year-old Raymond Goodwill Jr. of Union Township on Independence Day in 2009. Police say Howard later tried to pay a drug dealer with a gag $1 million bill that the victim's relatives said Goodwill always carried in his wallet.
The Erie Times-News says Howard maintains his innocence and plans to appeal, but Daneri says the suspect is "someone who just denies, denies, denies."
Information from: Erie Times-News