• Suspects take plea deal in fatal hammer attack of Port Orange woman


    PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Two men accused of beating a Volusia County mother to death with a hammer will avoid the death penalty, Channel 9 has learned.

    Tyler McClain and Bradley Suntich agreed to plea deals to avoid the death penalty after Laura Hill's family signed off on the deal.

    Investigators said the two severely beat and then killed Hill during a drug-fueled robbery in 2011 at a home in Port Orange.

    "My life has been frozen in time for 2 1/2 years waiting for this all to end," said Hill's sister, Lisa Arthur.

    As part of the plea, McClain and Suntich admitted to the murder and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    In exchange, they will avoid a lengthy trial that was set to begin next month and the possibility of the death penalty.

    As Arthur read an impact statement on Thursday, the two killers looked on, and emotions were raw.

    "Our family has gone through such a horrific loss we can never recover," Arthur said.

    In court, prosecutors laid out the brutal murder and how McClain and Suntich went on a drug-fueled robbery at the home Hill and her daughter, who McClain had dated, lived.

    Prosecutors went into detail about how McClain and Suntich beat the mother and daughter with a hammer as the two screamed. Hill died while her daughter survived.

    McClain and Suntich then stole Hill's car and drove to Louisiana where they were finally arrested.

    Before sentencing, Suntich didn't say anything to the victim's family but McClain apologized to them and asked for forgiveness.

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    Suspects take plea deal in fatal hammer attack of Port Orange woman