By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A particularly gruesome 2009 murder case ended today in a guilty plea and long prison sentence after the defendant admitted killing his victim and putting the body in a homemade coffin in the living room.
There was an ongoing dispute over rent at the Fairmount rooming house and, Philadelphia prosecutor Gail Fairman says, landlord defendant Miguel Davila beat one of his boarders to death with a baseball bat during a confrontation.
“He called friends of his and he made admissions to them,” Fairman tells KYW Newsradio. “To one guy he said, ‘I put him out of his misery. I put him in the box. I had to get rid of him. I put him out.’ And then he gives a formal statements to police when he was arrested.
“The neighbors heard him up all night after they heard screaming at 9:30 (pm), heard him yelling, ‘Get out of my house,’ a large thump, and then they heard the sounds of drilling and sawing going on throughout the night and into the next day,” Fairman notes.
Fairman says Davila was building a coffin. And when police were called the next day and responded, they found the makeshift sitting in the living room with the body of 53-year-old Roban Woodson inside.
Davila today pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 20-40 years in prison.