MONROE, MI (AP) — A man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for killing a woman after a 2014 Halloween party in southeastern Michigan and stashing her body in the woods.
Daniel Clay apologized in court. A jury in May convicted him of first-degree murder in the beating death of 22-year-old Chelsea Bruck.
“I made a mistake,” Clay told the victim’s mother, Leanndra Bruck, at his sentencing. “I know I caused pain to the family and to the community. I am truly sorry. I am sorry for what I put you through.”
Chelsea Bruck, who was from Maybee, disappeared after attending the party with hundreds of people in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township. Her body was found six months later.
She was dressed as the comic villain Poison Ivy at the party. DNA on her costume led investigators to Clay in 2016.
Clay had contended the death was accidental and occurred during aggressive sex in his car. But Monroe County Circuit Judge Daniel White said Clay was not believable.
“You’re a liar, a rapist and a killer,” White told Clay on Thursday.
Leanndra Bruck, who spoke at the sentencing and gave Clay a Bible, said: “Today, with the strength from Jesus Christ, I forgive Daniel Clay. I do not want my Lord to ask why I could not offer forgiveness to Mr. Clay.”