A Michigan man who admitted to killing a woman and her young son and burying them in his backyard will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Douglas Ross Hill, 58, was dealt a 30-50 year sentence on Wednesday by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James S. Jamo in the 2018 double murder of 34-year-old Danielle Steiner and her 5-year-old son, Aubrey Hall, according to court records obtained by Oxygen.com.
Hill pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in April, additional filings show.
"My son was only 5 years old when you brutally shot and strangled him like he wasn't sh-t," Anthony Hall, Aubrey's father and Steiner’s former fiancée, told Hill in court on Wednesday, according to the Lansing State Journal. "You are pure evil."
"I hope every day you relive what you did to my daughter and grandson," Steiner’s father, Roderick Steiner also said. "I hope it's pure hell for you because that's what you've done to us."
Hill declined to speak in court on Wednesday. His attorney maintained that Hill had taken responsibility for the mother and son’s murder and that he’d been suffering mental health issues at the time. He will receive nearly three years credit for time served, according to court records.
Anthony Hall and Steiner had separated in February 2018, following his demand that she stop using drugs, according to an interview he gave the State Journal. He had reported her to Child Protective Services and filed for full custody of Aubrey Hall, which was only awarded in late June 2018.
Steiner and Aubrey Hall were long time neighbors of Hill's who moved in with him for a short period of time in 2018 after Anthony Hall and Steiner separated, according to Michigan State Police and the paper. Hill told police that he Stein had been seeing each other romantically, the State Journal reported, but that they had a fight on Father's Day in 2018 and she left with Aubrey in an unknown man's car.
Later, while in lock-up on separate charges, Hill confessed to Steiner and Hall’s killings, telling officials he shot and killed them. He told a jail worker that he’d carried out the two murders because he “just snapped” and “the devil came out.”
On July 1, 2019, law enforcement uncovered the remains of the mother and son at Hill’s home, nearly a year after the pair were initially reported missing from South Lansing.
Steiner and Hall were incredibly close, relatives said.
"Their bond was so strong," Anthony Hall said in his State Journal interview. "The three of us, our bond was very strong. No matter what was going on, even when I was separated from her, she’d text me and say she still wanted to be with me."
Aubrey Hall was also remembered as a bright, playful, and polite young man, who loved to wrestle, according to loved ones.
"All his little friends, all the little kids in the neighborhood loved Aubrey," Anthony Hall added. "He was such a character."
Hill's defense attorney, Sanford Schulman, who noted his client had no prior felony convictions, said his client regretted carrying out the double killing.
"Both families are deeply affected by this case," Schulman, told Oxygen.com on Monday. "There was no evidence he harbored any ill will towards the victims. He understands how much hurt this has caused both families and was unable to speak at sentencing because he did not think any words would suffice."