Two doors down from Ronald Lee Kyles in Marietta lived Sharon Brady and her teenage daughter, Samantha.
Until he raped and stabbed them to death in 1986.
Police couldn’t prove what had happened until 2015 when DNA evidence linked Kyles to the crimes.
On Friday, prosecutors said, the 63-year-old man was sentenced to two life sentences after pleading guilty during a court hearing about a week before his trial was to begin.
The mother was 40 years old and her daughter was 13.
“Sharon and Samantha were sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by this violent serial offender. It’s one of the saddest set of facts I’ve dealt with in my career,” prosecutor Jesse Evans said in a news release.
The mother and daughter were found dead at the now-demolished Fort Hill Homes community in the city’s downtown on Sept. 12, 1986. Sharon Brady’s 3-year-old daughter, Brandi, was also found in the apartment but was unharmed.
“As a mere 3-year-old, I came face to face with pure evil,” she said in court Friday.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that a 2014 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice paid for testing of forensic evidence in the case.
In November 2015, Kyles — who was imprisoned in Pennsylvania on an unrelated aggravated assault conviction — was served with an arrest warrant charging him in the Brady case.
Kyles returned to Georgia in May 2017 after Gov. Nathan Deal and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive agreement.
Kyles will start his life sentence after finishing his time on the unrelated charge in Pennsylvania.
The retired Marietta police detective who investigated the case in 1986, Wayne Kennedy, was in the courtroom Friday, prosecutors said.
Tiffanie Zabriskie, who was friends with Samantha, said in court that Kyles was “a heartless monster.”
“God wants us to forgive,” Zabriskie said. “I’m a work in progress.”
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