Jury recommends life sentence for convicted killer

Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.

JACKSONVILLE — A Jacksonville jury has recommended that a man convicted of fatally stabbing a woman he thought was stealing from him should not be executed.

The jury recommended a life sentence Wednesday for 45-year-old Michael Chatman. He was convicted last month of first-degree murder, and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. A judge will make the final decision at a later date.

Authorities say 31-year-old Patricia Hammond was killed in 1995, but her murder went unsolved for more than a decade. When Chatman's DNA was added to a database following a 2009 burglary conviction, it matched evidence from the 1995 crime scene.

Officials say Hammond was a drug addict, who funded her habit as a prostitute. She would occasionally service Chatman, who accused her of stealing from him.

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