25 Craziest Reactions Of Convicts to Life Sentence

Posted by , Updated on May 25, 2024

Realizing that you will spend the rest of your life, or a substantial portion of your best years, in prison can be an undeniably devastating experience. It is evident that a life sentence typically results from a serious crime. However, the way each individual copes with this sentence can differ significantly. Regardless of whether the punishment is justified, one cannot ignore the mental and emotional burden of facing such a bleak future.

Here are 25 Craziest Reactions Of Convicts After Given A Life Sentence


Darrell Brooks Went on a Rant

Darrell Brooks

For a person to get six life sentences, they probably did something terrible. Unfortunately, Darrell Brooks did just that. He drove his SUV through a crowd of people attending a Christmas parade, racking up 76 charges, including the murder of six and the injury of many more. 

Brooks responded by making a long-winded and ridiculous statement that lasted hours, insulting the District Attorney and spending more time apologizing that people couldn’t see how remorseful he was rather than apologizing for what he did. His sentence was nearly 800 years. 


Alan McCarty Was Dragged Away

Alan McCarty

Alan McCarty Jr. initially ended up in court over a child custody issue. Then he threatened to kill a judge. So whatever, his initial problems became far worse, and that threat, along with threats against lawyers, including the unborn child of one, netted him a 20-year prison sentence

Hearing the bad news prompted McCarty to, unsurprisingly, lose his cool again. He cursed out the court, called the judge a liar, tossed out racial slurs, and had to be dragged out of the room. 


Keith Ferguson Lost His Cool

Keith Ferguson

Sometimes, when you’ve lost everything, all you have left at your disposal is to accept it with quiet grace. Or you could be like Keith Ferguson and throw a temper tantrum. He was convicted of killing his wife and her father and sentenced to life in prison with no parole. 

Ferguson refused to stand or raise his hand during the sentencing when asked. Instead, he swore at people and told the court he didn’t care if they killed him. When he was finally taken from the room, he told everyone he’d seen them all in hell.


Randall Moore Was Remorseless

Randall Moore

Remorse is usually an excellent way to ease a harsh sentence, but if you don’t have it, you won’t get it. Randall Moore showed no remorse for killing his wife and shooting a cop and got three life sentences. During the hearing, the victim’s mother was reading an impact statement when Moore interrupted her to tell her that her daughter hated her and she was a loser. 

He later stated he had no remorse and blamed her and anyone else he felt was responsible for not letting him see his son. Moore even told the cop he shot that he could have killed him if Moore wanted, but he did him a favor.


Ronnie O’Neal Wasn’t Sorry

Ronnie O’Neal

Ronnie O’Neal killed his girlfriend and their daughter and was convicted of the crimes. In 2021 he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus another 60 years for what the judge called one of the worst crimes she’d ever seen.  

O’Neal told the court that no one loved the victims like he did and refused to apologize.


Seth Welch and His Wife Were Blown Away

seth welch and tatiana fusarii

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari were convicted of killing their 10-month-old child by starving her to death. The video of their hearing in which they learned of the jail time they were facing went viral as it shows the couple side by side while a judge breaks it down off camera and says that the punishment is life without parole. While Fusari begins to cry, you can see Welch’s jaw drop as a look of complete and utter shock comes over him, as though he had no idea that the punishment for such a crime might be severe.


Jeremy Christian Threatened a Survivor

Jeremy Christian

Jeremy Christian’s sentencing got a rough start when the convicted killer kicked things off by telling a survivor that he should have killed her, too. In 2017 he murdered two passengers on a train in Portland and tried to kill another. In total, he was found guilty of 12 offenses.

When the victim said she hoped he’d go to hell and rot, he told her he’d see her there and then chanted “George Floyd” after cursing out the judge.


Luis Bracamontes Laughed in the Face of Death

Luis Bracamontes

When Luis Bracamontes was convicted of killing a pair of cops, he cheered. The jury recommended the death penalty. He made headlines for his outlandish and appalling courtroom behavior, frequently laughing about his crimes and asking the state to execute him during outbursts.


Michael Swanson Laughed and Smiled

Michael Swanson

Michael Swanson was just 18 and on trial for a double murder. First, he killed a store clerk during a robbery, then repeated the crime in another location. Swanson laughed when he was found guilty. During sentencing, the condemned teen began smiling as the judge told Swanson he would spend life in prison. The judge threatened to give him even more time, though it’s hard to say that threat would have meant too much.


Trey Relford Hugged his Victim’s Father

Trey Relford

In what stands out as the single most unusual act in any case of a murderer being taken to task, Trey Relford did something you won’t see anywhere else. He hugged the father of his victim, a man who, despite losing his child, could forgive the killer and embrace him before the court.


Seandell Jackson Had to be Pepper Sprayed

Seandell Jackson

When Seandell Jackson learned he’d spend life in prison for killing Nathan Potter, he became enraged. He cursed out the victim’s family and the judge. He had to be tackled by court officers and needed to be pepper sprayed. Inexplicably, Jackson’s family took the opportunity also to curse the victim’s family, as though they were responsible for Jackson’s crime.


Ricky Hand Threw Feces Like a Monkey

Ricky Hand

Ricky Hand is a convicted criminal who has committed a series of armed robberies. During his court hearing, Hand arrived with his arm in a sling. Everyone assumed it was due to an injury he sustained. Knowing that he would likely face a harsh sentence, he came prepared with a vile act.

When the judge sentenced him to 40 years in prison, Hand was stunned and exclaimed, “you just gave me 40 years?” Then, to the shock of everyone in the courtroom, he reached into his sling and threw a handful of excrement, which he had stored in a bottle, at his own lawyer.


Dexter Johnson Threw a Chair

Dexter Johnson threw a chair

The courtroom fell apart when Dexter Johnson was sentenced to death in 2007. At just 19, Johnson already had a solid career as a criminal, but the final straw was the murder and rape of Maria Aparece and a crime spree with accomplices that left two more dead as well.

Johnson tossed a chair as he lashed out and had to be tackled by court officials while others in the room screamed, passed out, and had to be taken away by ambulance. Johnson’s execution stayed in 2019 as courts looked into claims of him having an intellectual disability.


Diana Lovejoy Passed Out

Diana Lovejoy

TJ Lane fits the bill for a stone-cold killer. The 18-year-old was convicted of murdering three and injuring three more in a school shooting. Lane appeared at his sentencing, where he got life in prison wearing a homemade t-shirt with the word “killer” in black marker. At one point in the trial, he spun around in his chair to address the families of his victims and made a vulgar proclamation before giving them all the finger.


TJ Lane Wore a T-Shirt With “Killer” On It

TJ Lane

TJ Lane fits the bill for a stone-cold killer. The 18-year-old was convicted of murdering three and injuring three more in a school shooting. Lane appeared at his sentencing, where he got life in prison wearing a homemade t-shirt with the word “killer” in black marker. At one point in the trial, he spun around in his chair to address the families of his victims and made a vulgar proclamation before giving them all the finger.


Adrian Dunn Tried to Fight Courtroom Deputies

Adrian Dunn

During a bad drug deal, Adrian Dunn shot and killed Rakim Charles. Prosecutors pointed out during the trial that Dunn was a career criminal, and his chances of re-offending were high based on his track record. The judge seemed to agree and sentenced Dunn to life. For his part, Dunn proved them right when he began to fight with as many as five court deputies as they tried to restrain him, calling them names and resisting.


Manson Bryant Freaked Out in an Angry Rant

Manson Bryant

It can’t be a good trial when the person on the stand is named Manson. Manson Bryant was a career criminal who was convicted of robbery, kidnapping, and a 2018 armed robbery. At his sentencing, he spoke on his behalf about how he’d made many bad decisions, how drugs had been involved, and how he was trying to improve. He praised the entire justice system and thanked the court for its decision. Then the judge gave him 22 years, and his tune changed. 

Bryant immediately flipped, cursing out the court and calling the judge a racist. He yelled and swore for an extended time, dropping numerous F-bombs. The judge gave him an additional six years for his trouble.


Erika Mae Butts Screamed and Hyperventilated

Erika Mae Butts

Erika Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham went to trial for killing a three-year-old they were babysitting. While Cunningham pleaded guilty, Butts entered an Alford plea which meant she maintained her innocence but acknowledged that if she went to trial, she’d likely be convicted. The two probably expected some leniency but found none when the judge gave them life in prison

As the judge read the sentence, Butts had a complete courtroom breakdown. She screamed, collapsed, and hyperventilated. In the meantime, Cunningham fainted and had to be wheeled out of the courtroom. 


Bass Webb Spit on a Judge

Bass Webb

Bass Web was serving time in prison when he caused more problems and had his sentence extended. He got 50 years for murdering his ex-girlfriend, and then, years later, he was sentenced to life for another murder. While Webb was in jail, he was charged with attempting to murder two jail employees. The judge in the trial had to recuse herself because she knew the victims. He replied by spitting at her. He got 37 more years attached to his sentence for the attempted murders and went to trial for spitting on the judge. What more could he lose, though? 


Ryan Stone Bragged About His Crimes

Ryan Stone Bragged About His Crimes

In some places, a life sentence is less than 20 years. For others, it means at least 25. But Ryan Stone got himself 160 years for leading police on an extended, high-speed chase across 60 miles. Needless to say, he racked up several charges, including attempted manslaughter and child abuse stemming from his carjacking an SUV with a 4-year-old in the back.

Stone tried to pretend drugs were to blame for his actions, but during sentencing, lawyers played recordings of Stone, taken while he was in jail, in which he bragged about making the news and how stupid his victims were.


Danta Wright Thought It was a Joke

Danta Wright

Impact statements are often read by the families and loved ones of victims during murder trials. In the case of Danta Wright, the family of slain 18-year-old Jordan Klee was sharing their feelings while the accused killer smiled and had to restrain himself from laughing during his sentencing hearing. After the impact hearing, Wright addressed the court and told his family he’d be home soon. On the contrary, he was sentenced to 25-50 years for the crime.


Brice Rhodes Spit, Swore, and Yelled Through His Trial

Brice Rhodes

Brice Rhodes went on trial for a triple homicide, and from the start, he was an angry, erratic, and confusing defendant. Facing the death penalty or life in prison for his crimes, one would assume Rhodes would be distraught. However, he was anything but distraught.

Rhodes interrupted the court proceedings with outbursts. He accused the judge of being in the KKK. At one point, Rhodes spits on a lawyer. He fired lawyers, said things that didn’t make sense, and smiled at his victims’ families mockingly. His lawyer argued that he needed a competency test, while the families of his victims insisted it was just a time-wasting ploy.


Michael Marin Ended It All

Michael Marin

Michael Marin had fallen hard and could no longer afford mortgage payments. He planned to raffle his mansion off for charity, but that failed. So his next plan was to burn it down for insurance money.  

Once caught and put on trial, he soon learned that arson and insurance fraud was severe. At a minimum, he faced seven years but could serve 21 years. As a 53-year-old man, that was a life sentence. When the judge pronounced him guilty, Marin could be seen in court lifting his hands to his face.

No one knew at the time that he wasn’t just reacting in despair. He put a cyanide capsule in his mouth and then swallowed a drink. He began convulsing shortly after that and died in full view of everyone. 


Ted Kaczynski Listed 8 Life Sentences as Awards

Ted Kaczynski

The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, got eight life sentences for his time as a domestic terrorist that caused three deaths and nearly two dozen injuries due to explosives he sent through the mail. 

After being given those eight life sentences, he opted to list them as awards with the Harvard Alumni Association ahead of his 50-year class reunion in 2012. Unfortunately, the group had to apologize later for publishing it.


“Suck Your Mum“

Craziest Reactions Of Convicts

Getting a life sentence is going to spark some anger. And at that point, do you have much to lose? So you may as well speak your mind when you have the court’s attention, and that’s what Zarak McKoy did.

McKoy was convicted of attacking a couple, shooting them 16 times, though both miraculously survived. McKoy was sentenced to life in prison for the crime of causing grievous bodily harm, even though he was found not guilty of attempted murder. The judge said he had no choice. McKoy, for his part, spoke to the judge, “suck your mum, rudeboy,” and then was escorted from the room.

Photo: 2. cnn, Ted Kaczynski (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 3. independent.co, Michael Marin (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 4. wdrb, Brice Rhodes (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 5. abc15, Danta Wright (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 6. denverpost, Ryan Stone (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 7. www.reddit, Bass Webb (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 9. cleveland19, Manson Bryant (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 10. Ksat, Adrian Dunn (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 11. Usatoday, TJ Lane (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 12. cbsnews, Diana Lovejoy (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 13. chron.com, Dexter Johnson (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 14. washingtontimes.com, Ricky Hand (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 15. lovethispic.com, Seandell Jackson (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 16. medium.com, Trey Relford (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 17. startribune, Michael Swanson (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 18. nydailynews.com, Luis Bracamontes (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 20. independent.co.uk, Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 21. lindaikejisblog.com, Ronnie O’Neal (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 22. wlbt.com, Randall Moore (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 23. times-news, Keith Ferguson (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 24. boingboing, Alan McCarty Was Dragged Away (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 25. cnn.com, Darrell Brooks Went on a Rant (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only)