CLEVELAND (WJW) – A man convicted of killing a young mother was sentenced to life in prison with parole possibility after 15 years.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Deborah Turner sentenced Jamal Kukla Thursday for the 2018 murder of Jasmine Washington. Kukla was convicted in November of several charges including murder.

Washington’s body was found under stairs outside the Broadway Christian Church in September of 2018.

Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Anna Faraglia told the judge prior to sentencing that Kukla beat Washington with a garden tool and then hid her body.

Kukla was arrested in May of 2020 after officials at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations were able to match Kukla’s DNA with DNA that was found at the scene.

Rev. James Washington, Jasmine’s father, said he forgives Kukla but will never forget what he did to his daughter. He said he wanted Kukla to be sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility.

Kukla did not give a statement or apologize for his actions during the hearing. His attorney, Jaye Schlachet, said Kukla plans to appeal his conviction.

Washington said his daughter had mental health issues. He said shortly before her murder she had just gotten her own apartment. He added that she had a beautiful singing voice, loved her family and was very kind.

“She might have had some challenges,” Rev. Washington said. “She was loved. She will not be forgotten.”