GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The man convicted in the brutal killing of Tena Broadus will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Joshua Peterman, 31, was sentenced Thursday morning to life in prison without the chance of parole or early release. A jury found Peterman guilty June 29 of first degree murder in the death of the Gulfport woman. Judge Roger Clark said the sentence was a result of Peterman's violent criminal history.
Before Peterman was convicted, Broadus' family had the chance to address the court. Lindsay Allen, Tena Broadus' sister-in-law, spoke during the sentencing hearing, giving an emotional statement about how Tena's family had been affected.
After the sentencing she talked with WLOX: "I don't know if Peterman did the final slaying of my sister. I wasn't there. None us will have answers. Regardless, it was at his house. He was there. He was the one that was in charge of everyone so he could've stopped it."
"I think that he's a liar and a manipulator," said Allen. "I have heard a lot about him. I think he will do and say whatever it takes so the blame isn't put on him so he can rest easy at night."
She continued: "Regardless of what he says or what he tries to say he didn't do, he will spend the rest of his life in jail, which honestly he doesn't deserve that. He deserves to be done exactly what they did to Tena. That's what he deserves."
Peterman was convicted of brutally beating Tena Broadus in 2015 then burning her body throughout the night before dumping the remains in the Biloxi River. Broadus was reported missing by her family on Sept. 25, 2015. Her remains were found in the river near Highway 605 and O'Neal Road on Oct. 7, 2015.
Multiple witnesses testified at Peterman's trial that Broadus was at his house the night she was killed.
"During the struggle, Broadus was taken out back and placed in a building behind the residence, where she was restrained. The victim was continuously assaulted by the defendants," said the assistant district attorney Mitch Owen, who prosecuted the case.
Those sames witnesses -- who were also charged in Broadus' death -- told jurors at the trial that they knew Broadus was dead when they helped Peterman dispose of her body.
Peterman, along with Natasha Sellers, Aaron Bobinger, and Kari Parker, took Broadus' body to O'Neal Road, where they dumped it in the Biloxi River. The three other co-defendants also admitted to their roles in Broadus' death, pleading guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony against Peterman, who they said was the ringleader of the murder.
On July 9, Parker was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 17 years suspended. That means she will only spend 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Broadus' death. The remaining time after her release will be spent on post-release supervision.
Natasha Sellers pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to 20 years with 15 years suspended, leaving five years to serve and the rest on post-release supervision.
Bobinger and Devin Gregory each pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact. Gregory admitted to watching Broadus be assaulted but said he left before the other four co-defendants disposed of her body. Both Gregory and Bobinger will be sentenced on Aug. 9.