Two life sentences for Middletown man convicted of multiple murders

Posted at 5:37 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 18:14:24-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- A Middletown man received two life sentences Tuesday after pleading guilty to the murders of Tiffany Hoskins and Joseph Romano, which occurred within a day of one another in 2016.

Doug Best, 29, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder in connection to the deaths. Romano died Nov. 4, 2016, of multiple gunshots to the head and neck. Firefighters discovered Hoskins' body inside a burning building Nov. 5, but her family said she had been shot to death before the fire started. 

Best began to cry and apologize as Judge Greg Stephens handed down his sentence.

"I know there ain't nothing I can say to change the way the victims feel, but I am truly remorseful for what I did to two innocent people for no reason," he said. "It's not just because I am caught. It messes with me so bad, I can't even sleep at night."

Hoskins' mother and sister, Judy Mills and Tina Payne, said an apology would never be enough.

"I just want to know why," Mills wept. "Why did you kill my daughter? That's all I need to know. Why? I have to cry and beg and pray every day for comfort, and I can't get it. I will never forgive you."

Best's two life sentences will run consecutively, meaning he will not be eligible for parole until he is 80 years old.

According to the Journal-News, Best's two co-defendants -- 22-year-old Derrick Brown and 27-year-old Charles Ray Graham -- both faced additional charges in connection to Romano's death. Prosecutors claimed Romano had been shot and killed while the trio robbed him. 

Brown pleaded guilty in April to attempted burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder. Graham will stand trial for attempted burglary and participating in a criminal gang in November.