Donald Gray was handed a life sentence in Yellowstone County District Court by Judge Gregory Todd Friday.
Gray killed 81-year-old William Joy last summer.
Joy was stabbed during a car jacking in Billings on June 10th.
Joy's daughter, Denise Joy, took the witness stand before the sentence was handed down.
Denise told the court that her father's murder has been very difficult and that she misses her father very much for his wisdom and advice.
Joy spoke of her father's life in law enforcement and how no one expected him to lose him in such a horrible way after never having any problems as a sheriff.
Joy discussed her father as a helper, a man who spent his life knowing other people, and help those who suffered from addictions to reestablish a good life for themselves.
And Joy spoke of how her father would be missed for his volunteer efforts. In the last few years William Joy volunteered with Billings Clinic.
Joy stated that her father, "...understood there are people in our community that can’t be among us. We can’t have people that do not respect a human life. They have to be removed from our society and the family left behind needs to know that has consequences.”
William Joy's oldest son Oren then took the stand.
Oren shared that he didn't understand why something like a vehicle could be a reason to take a life.
He also spoke of his father as a man who was dedicated to family, community and his church.
William Joy's youngest son Ryan then spoke saying his father's murder... "took away their security, their innocence, their rest and their peace. Being happy doesn’t feel right anymore.”
Other family members also spoke of William Joy's love and generosity and that they believe if given the chance he would have helped Donald Gray.
Jackie Joy said, “He would’ve done anything to stay alive. He would’ve given anything to return to his family unharmed. He loved and cherished not only his own life but that of everyone’s life.”
Finally, it came time for Gray to speak, His attorney pointed out that Gray entered a guilty plea right away because he knew what he did was something terrible that he couldn’t take back.
Gray's words to the court... “I deserve everything I get. I’m not looking for special treatment whatever you decide I’m sure it’ll be appropriate.”