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Gary Artman: Sharron Hammack's sisters call Florida driver 'piece of garbage' as he is sentenced to life for raping and killing her

2023-10-15 04:26
'You’re not a man. You’re not a person. You’re nothing but a piece of garbage,' said Sharron Hammack's sisters referring to Gary Artman
Gary Artman: Sharron Hammack's sisters call Florida driver 'piece of garbage' as he is sentenced to life for raping and killing her

KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN: A Florida long-haul truck driver is going to spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually assaulting and killing a pregnant 29-year-old woman in Michigan nearly three decades ago.

Garry Artman, 65, was ordered by Kent County Circuit Court Judge Scott A Noto on Thursday, October 12, to serve life in a state correctional facility without the possibility of parole for the horrific 1996 slaying of Sharron Hammack.

Last month, a jury found Artman guilty on one count of open murder, one count of felony murder, and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for killing Hammack who was raped, stabbed, hog-tied, and strangled.

What did Sharron Hammack's sisters say?

According to courtroom footage provided by NBC-affiliate WOOD TV, Hammack’s sisters, Tina DeYoung and Terri Navitskas unleashed harsh invectives aimed at Artman.

“You’re not even a person!” Navitskas screamed at the convicted killer, adding “You’re not a man. You’re not a person. You’re nothing but a piece of garbage.”

DeYoung termed Artman a monster. “I hope you get everything that’s coming to you,” she said, adding “You killed my sister and my nephew that was inside her body.”

DeYoung called Artman a “coward” for refusing to answer questions about what he did and why, adding, “I hope you rot in hell.”

Gary Artman is also a suspect for least 11 more homicides

While the sisters requested Artman for answers as to why he killed Hammack, prosecutors questioned the suspected serial killer to tell authorities what he knows about 11 other murders committed around the same time and in a similar fashion to Hammack.

“I’m hopeful Mr Artman will listen,” Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Blair Lachman told the court, adding “There’ve been similar homicides, at least 11 more homicides that are similar to this. Mr Artman has clearly lived a very selfish life. What we’re asking is, for the first time, that he give to somebody else — give to others by letting the families know what happened to their loved ones.”

When did authorities got to know about Sharron Hammack's death?

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, on October 3, 1996, deputies responded to an emergency call at 76th Street SE, between Patterson Avenue and Kraft Avenue in the Caledonia Township, about a dead woman, identified as Hammack.

An autopsy determined she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

DNA evidence was collected from her genitals, fingernails, and a blanket that her body had been wrapped in, but the case went cold for decades.

The investigators made a major breakthrough in 2019 after they sent DNA samples to a genetic genealogy company called Identifinders.

Investigators spent countless hours tracing the subject’s DNA matches from Eastern Europe to Michigan.

Despite distant matches and complex family pedigrees, they were ultimately led to Artman, they said.

Gary Artman had prior criminal charges

Artman fit the profile for committing such a crime as he had been convicted in 1980 of raping and threatening to kill a 16-year-old girl.

He was released from prison in 1992. In August last year, detectives found Artman in Mississippi and took him into custody.

Prosecutors emphasized in their closing arguments last months that it likely took three minutes for Hammack to die while being strangled by Artman.

They also read from letters and journal entries penned by Artman, using his words against him, according to the outlet.

“You ask yourself who you are. Here is who you are: you are death itself to those who deserve it and life to those who live it,” one of Artman’s journal entries reportedly read.

“The strange thing is I never felt guilty about raping them,” said another. Prosecutors told jurors the writings illustrated how Artman had “decided he is judge and executioner,” the NBC affiliate WOOD reported.

Artman, who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, is also accused of killing 24-year-old Dusty Shuck, found dumped on the side of the interstate in Maryland in 2006.

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