Victim's son tells mother's killer apology isn't enough

James House (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
James House (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Ida Martin
Ida Martin

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Hamilton County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the murder of a 93-year-old woman in Roselawn.

James House III, 29, admitted to killing Ida Martin, 93, in October of last year. He pleaded guilty to one count of murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

"I will work the rest of my life to hopefully one day be forgiven for what I have done," said House in court.

Martin's son was among a handful of family and friends in the courtroom. William Martin told House he was glad to hear his apology, but it wasn't enough to bring back his mother.

"My mother was 93 years old, but she was in very good condition," said Martin. "Good physical health, and she'd be with us today if it wasn't for this stupid act."

Ida Martin was out for her evening walk on October 20, 2009 when House stabbed her repeatedly, killing her. The murder happened in broad daylight, and just feet away from her apartment off Summit Road.

House has a criminal history. According to court documents, in 1998, he was accused of stabbing three women. He was charged with attempted murder in two of the cases. House was found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered to spend ten years in a mental health facility.

Many friends and neighbors are happy that House will pay a different price for this crime.

"Everybody in the family and the neighbors there on Roselawn, they liked her," said Martin. "She liked everyone there. "

Neighbors couldn't agree more.

"And sometimes, I look over there and say hey, I miss that old lady," said Harry L. Doty, Sr., a neighbor. "She would smile. You know. She was friendly to everybody, and for something like that to happen. I don't know."

Prosecutors told the judge they never want to see House free to walk the streets again, and they'll always protest against his chance of probation.

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