Bonita Springs man gets life in prison for murder

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Bonita Springs man was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for murdering his neighbor.

A jury convicted 53-year-old Randy Marquardt for shooting and killing his neighbor, Joseph Gales, in a fight over $150 back in 2013.

Gales’ family let out tears and sighs of relief as they heard the judge sentence Marquardt to two life sentences for second degree murder and burglary.

“A senseless murder for a $150 debt, it’s sad,” said Judge Frank Porter in court Monday morning.

“No one deserves to be executed the way my uncle was,” said Joshua Joseph, the victim’s nephew. “The defendant should not see the light of day again.”

Gales’ last moments were caught on surveillance camera as he ran from Marquardt in his Bonita Springs neighborhood.

“I have dreams knowing of what he must have been feeling, as this was his last day on earth,” said the victim’s sister, Dorsey Gales, addressing the court through tears. “He could be complicated at times, and was far from perfect, but he had a heart of gold.”

Detectives say after shooting Gales, Marquardt then drove to Fort Myers and kidnapped his ex-wife at gunpoint while she was babysitting an 8-month-old child. The child was left in the home and was not injured.

Many of Marquardt’s friends spoke in court, asking the judge for mercy, saying drugs caused Marquardt to snap. Before the judge handed down the sentence, Marquardt briefly addressed Gales’ family.

“Bottom of my heart, I would like to tell I am very sorry,” said Marquardt.

In addition to the two life sentences for murder and burglary, Marquardt also received five years for kidnapping his ex-wife.

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