AKRON, Ohio — An Akron man was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of Kerri Blondheim, a grandmother whose body was set on fire after she was strangled.
With his hands cuffed, Daniel Jones, 47, covered his face as Judge Tammy O'Brien handed down the punishment in Summit County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier this month, a jury found Jones guilty of murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.
Blondheim's stepmother, Alison Blondheim, addressed the court and said she will forever miss Kerri's beautiful smile and hugs. She left behind three children and three grandchildren.
"I just hope he now has the rest of his life in prison to think long and hard about what he did that day and that he's not able to hurt another person or family again like this," Alison said.
On September 23, 2018, Jones got into an argument with Blondheim, 44, inside an Akron apartment. According to attorneys, Jones had accused Blondheim of stealing a GPS.
Jones strangled Blondheim, breaking every bone in her neck.
To conceal the crime, he dumped the body in a wooded area in New Franklin, where he covered the body with a mattress and set Blondheim and her belongings on fire.
When given the chance to speak in court, Jones said he has battled drug addiction for 30 years and offered an apology.
"I'm just sorry that it happened, your honor. I don't know what else to say. I'm sorry. I truly am," Jones said.
But those words meant nothing to Alison.
"He could have walked away. He didn't have to do what he did to Kerri," she said.
Alison said she was satisfied that Jones won't be eligible for parole for 19 years. She also stressed that her stepdaughter struggled with drugs and mental health problems, issues shes feels need more attention to prevent tragedies like the one her family has endured.
"I really need to push for mental facilities and things to help people," she added.