Donyea and Orlando Tyus, convicted in the 2018 random shooting murders of two men in Akron, were sentenced Monday to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole.

“You will be confined to a dark, cold cell. You will never walk again as free men,” Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty told the two brothers who stood quietly before her. “You will die in prison.”

McCarty’s remarks, which came after she sentenced the brothers to life in prison, were loudly applauded by family members of the two deceased men, Bonn Rassavong and Robert McCall, sitting in the back of the courtroom.

McCarty told the brothers that life in prison without parole was necessary to protect the community from them.

What happened was not in much dispute, McCarty said: Two men and a woman tried to kill four people. “They only succeeded in killing two,” she said.

She said she asked herself why it happened. “It was simply a desire to kill,” she said.

McCarty said she has been a judge for 20 years and prior to that a prosecutor for 10 years and never had a case where there was a desire to kill random people.

At the start of Monday’s sentencing, a prosecutor described what the brothers did as “monstrous” and “evil.”

McCarty said she also searched for a word to describe what took place.

“I was thinking of the word ‘senseless,’” McCarty said. But the definition and synonyms didn’t fit, she said.

“So then I looked up some other words. Cruel. Cold-blooded. And those synonyms are brutal, callous, hateful, heartless, merciless, remorseless, ruthless, sadistic, wicked,” she said. “Those words fit.”

She said Orlando Tyus walked up to Rassavong and just shot him multiple times.

She said Donyea Tyus recognized McCall before killing him.

“You shook his hand and then you shot him in the eye,” McCarty said. “He had gun residue in his eye because the last thing he saw on this Earth was the barrel of your gun.”

She said that because the brothers “acted together in everything, so your sentences will be the same.”

The brothers, shackled and in orange prison suits, declined to make statements because they will be appealing the convictions and have asked for new lawyers to be appointed to represent them. They have maintained they are innocent. Donyea Tyus is 30 and Orlando Tyus, 28.

Family members of Rassavong and McCall also declined to speak as part of the sentencing.

Afterward, brothers of the two victims said the life sentences were just.

“I don’t think they should be walking around,” said Khon Rassavong, who narrowly escaped being shot alongside his brother in Akron's North Hill neighborhood. “It happened so fast."

Rassavong said he hopes the Tyus brothers can “find themselves” and be model inmates.

“I do forgive them. I have to move on. It’s done,” Rassavong said of the Tyus brothers. “If I hold it in, it will make it worse on me. I can’t hold it in. I know they won’t get out, so what can I do?”

Freddie McCall said he was with his brother, Robert, earlier in the night before he was shot and killed in a South Arlington Street parking lot. He said the verdict was just.

“I think the judge did a great job and penalized them for the crime they did,” he said. “And the fact they will never see daylight, you’ve got to respect that.”

McCall said he and his family have been going through trauma and anxiety since the murders.

“With that being said, I am still going to pray for the two guys [Tyus brothers] and everyone,” McCall said. “I love God and he said we’ve got to love everybody else. You don’t understand why certain things happen but they happen for a reason. But it’s been rough to lose a loved one.”

The Tyus brothers were convicted July 19 of aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of Rassavong, 46, and McCall, 58, and of felonious assault in the attempted shooting of two other people in the early morning of July 7, 2018, plus related charges.

The jury took seven hours to convict the two men.

The brothers and a female accomplice were accused of choosing people at random to shoot. Prosecutors said the group went “on a mission to kill” in Akron.

Their alleged accomplice, Cheyenne James, 21, was the prosecution’s key witness in the case and received a plea agreement to testify against the brothers.

James told police the brothers said they were starting a group and that the initiation required a murder. She said the brothers threatened to kill her unless she killed someone. James said she tried to shoot a 51-year-old woman but the gun malfunctioned and the woman escaped.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ