A man who murdered an elderly South Dakota woman in what he described as the first step in a plot to kill and steal his way to Washington and assassinate President Obama has been sentenced to death. After walking away from a minimum-security prison unit, James McVay drank alcohol and cough syrup, asked Satan for guidance, and broke into the home of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports. He stabbed her to death, stole her car, and told police about his Obama plan when he was apprehended a few hours later.
McVay, 44, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder and a jury voted unanimously for the death penalty after deciding the killing was "wantonly vile and inhuman." Without a unanimous vote, McVay would have been sentenced to life without parole, the AP notes. "I don't have a lot to say here," said the judge as he formalized the jury's verdict in a hearing yesterday. "This is a situation where a jury's verdict has a lot more weight than what I could say." (Read more James McVay stories.)