NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A man convicted of murder with a history of mental illness was sentenced to 22 years to life in Rockland County Court on Friday.
Eric Lau killed Jami Erlich in November 2009 inside her Valley Cottage apartment after weeks of stalking her obsessively, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
Erlich was still on the phone with her boyfriend, Justin Juarbe, when Lau attacked, bashing her head in with a hammer and slitting her throat.
“He’s a monster,” Juarbe said following the sentencing.
The victim’s father, Charles Erlich, cursed the killer as he walked out of the courthouse.
“Enjoy every day in prison,” he told Lau.
Over two-and-a-half years of hearings have lead to the sentencing today.
During that time, as many as seven psychiatrists have evaluated Lau’s mental condition. While many believe he is sick, they said he is not as sick as he pretends to be.
“When he would go in the hospital amongst his peers, he would play chess; he would be laughing and having a good time with his friends,” Rockland County Chief Asst D.A. Stephen Moore said.
In a letter to the judge, Lau’s sister said that her brother should be kept away from society.
Lau pleaded guilty to the murder in April, after failing in his attempt to avoid a trial by being sent to a mental hospital.