Man sentenced for murdering girlfriend in motel

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SAN DIEGO — A man who killed a woman he had been dating and left her body in a Talmadge motel room was sentenced today to 17 years to life in state prison.

prison sentenceStacey Ricardo Johnson, 44, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder in the death of 47-year-old Candace Vursula Hamilton, a mother of six.

One of the victim’s daughters, 17-year-old Tiffany Hamilton, spoke at the sentencing hearing.

“I was so mad at her because she kept going back to him,” she told Judge Charles Gill.

Another daughter, Penny La Madrid, called the defendant a “monster.”

“From the first day I met you, I knew something wasn’t right,” La Madrid said.

Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio told a judge last year that Johnson and Hamilton checked into the motel in the 4900 block of El Cajon Boulevard the evening of June 1, 2013.

The manager found her body in the room the next day. Di Tillio said the victim was bound, gagged and suffocated, and Johnson’s DNA was found at the crime scene.

Johnson was already in custody on an unrelated crime when he was booked into jail Oct. 4. In a separate case, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a fellow inmate while in custody.