20-Year Sentence for Unintentional Murder of Park Point Man

Renee Passal
Updated: June 17, 2019 06:16 PM

31-year-old Darrel Darryl Mayhew sat in a courtroom on Monday morning to hear his fate for committing Duluth's first murder of 2019. He was still representing himself.

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Judge Dale Harris sentenced him to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder without intent. "I don't think you even know why you did what you did," he said to Mayhew. "I hope you're a different person when you walk out of prison."

To the family, he said, "You have suffered an unimaginable loss." 

This all started when Mayhew robbed the Park Point home of Larry Watczak back on January 2. Mayhew hit Watczak over the head with a glass bottle, before taking $2 in change, a phone, and a tablet.

Watczak, who was 70 years old, was able to call police. He was rushed to the hospital, but died 10 days later.

Mayhew pleaded guilty at the end of May. He apologized to the family during Monday's sentencing hearing. "If you don't forgive me, I understand." He also sent a letter to the family, which Watczak's son called, 'pitiful.'

A friend, brother, and son of the victim spoke during the victim impact statement portion of the sentencing. Jeff Watczak, the brother, said, "240 months or 240 years. Larry is not coming back." He also thanked the police department, county attorney's office, and the court for their work on this case.

Erik Watczak, Larry's son, said, "Every day I'm dealing with another aspect of my father's death. I talked to him every day on the way home from work, and I still catch myself trying to call him. There's no way to fill the hole in anybody's heart." As for the defendant, he said, "I hope every day is the most miserable of his life."


Renee Passal

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