Wow, another story I never heard about in the mainstream media. A Detroit teenager, who was 17-years-old at the time, killed a 91-year-old World War II veteran by beating him, saturating him in gasoline, and setting him on fire.
Paul Monchnik, who migrated to the United States when he was just 8-years-old, was known around the community as being an active and friendly neighbor despite his old age.
Monchnik was a longtime Detroiter, World War II veteran and self-employed television repairman for more than 50 years. Family members say he lived alone in the house.
It is heartbreaking to know the man went to war for his country and survived, only to be brutally murdered by some sick and twisted teenager.
George Steward attacked Monchnik in his home, which is where police discovered his body when they responded to a fire alert. Steward covered the veteran with petrol, after beating him, and then set him on fire. The two were allegedly next door neighbors.
According to reports, Monchnik's body was nearly 100% burned, and they even found a one-fifth cup of gasoline in his stomach. This was on top of skull fractures, two broken ribs, and three cutting injuries.
A gas station attendant also testified Steward bought 50 cents’ worth of gasoline and a lighter the morning his elderly neighbor was killed and set ablaze.
Scott Monchnik, son of the victim, was heartbroken by his father's death as well as the destruction of his childhood home, which had been consumed by fire. He described the blood soaked floor where his father was murdered as a “scene from hell.”
“His life was brutally taken from us by a monster. The terrible sickening feeling I get thinking that my dad’s last hour on Earth was filled with horror and pain, worse than anything he went through in the war." Scott continued, "“This man (Steward) has created a hole in all of us that is filled with anger and hatred, fear and loss. You have taken something that was not yours to take.”
He added about his father, “He was kind and open-minded… He had no prejudice, he had no malice, and he was a kind-hearted man. He worked very, very hard to support his wife and his family and he wanted to live to be 100 and this kid cut that short.”
Steward was captured by police and sentenced to 30-60 years in prison after he plead guilty to the crime. He also apologized for his actions, although whether or not he was sincere is another story.
Outside of court, Steward’s family and friends defended him.
His sister, Taige Steward, said her brother was not a “monster” and had never been in trouble before this murder.
“I feel sorry for the family and for my family as well, because we are all going through,” Steward said. “I know he honestly feels terrible about what happened.”
Tyrone Davison, a Steward family friend, said the family wants to appeal the sentence.
“It’s an unfortunate situation on both sides,” he said. “I think it’s more to the story than what’s been told.”
Steward told Monchnik's family, “Each and every day I wish I could take it back. No one should be able to leave this world like that.”
"I’m sorry for the loss I caused their family, for the heartache I put in their hearts.” He added, "Hopefully one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
If you ask me, Steward doesn't even deserve to rot in prison. Our tax dollars shouldn't be giving him a cushioned life with three square meals a day when he can so callously murder another human being the way he did.
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