Florence man sentenced to life for teen's death

A Florence man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of a 17-year-old boy.

Police call it one of the most heinous and senseless crimes they've ever seen.

Prosecutors say Donovan Roman, 20, masterminded the teenager's killing to fulfill his fantasies of being a gangster.

Wednesday afternoon, Roman pleaded guilty to the murder of Jeremiah Jenkins in August of 2008.

Police found his badly decomposed body stuffed in a wall in a vacant building on Irby Street, 24 days after his murder. Jenkins was lured to the building where he was stabbed and beaten to death.

Jenkins' father broke down during the hearing, and several police officers were reduced to tears.

Before the judge sentenced Roman, he apologized to the family of Jeremiah Jenkins.

Roman told the court he was out of control and believed his own fantasies.

"This was completely senseless and it was a horrible act to feed a fantasy life a tale he was concocting to influence young men and manipulate them and it was just horrendous," said Solicitor Ed Clements.

Roman's attorney brought up his mental health issues during the hearing, but said it was no excuse for the crime.

Roman faces burglary and grand larceny charges in a separate case. He could be in court on those charges Thursday.

Two others are charged with Jenkins' murder. No word on when they will be tried.

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