PORTLAND -- The mixed martial arts fighter who murdered a man in a Pearl District apartment last year was sentenced to 18 years in prison Monday, as part of his plea deal.
The victim, Charles Keith Morton, 64, died of multiple blunt force and sharp force injuries at the Station Place Tower apartments, near NW 9th Avenue and NW Lovejoy Street, in March of 2012.
Charles Joseph Lake, now 22, was later arrested and charged with aggravated murder and unlawful use of a weapon. Later, as part of his plea deal, Lake admitted to killing Morton during a robbery and was able to avoid a possible death sentence.
Morton, or "Mort" as friends called him, was a retired Port of Portland police dispatcher. During Monday's hearing, some of his friends had strong words for the defendant.
”I’m sure Mort didn’t do anything to you that morning, Mr. Lake, that deserved you staying in his apartment, kicking and stabbing him until he was dead," friend Randy Walker said. "I hope you think about that choice you made for the next 18 years.”
Lake will be 40 when he gets out of prison, if he serves the entire sentence without early release.
Court papers indicated that Lake and Morton had met just hours before the murder. Surveillance video showed the two entering the high-rise building together.
A woman who lived in the building told detectives during the investigation that she heard a loud commotion in the apartment above her. She said afterward, she took the elevator upstairs and saw Lake enter the elevator with blood on his hand.
Police said Lake had Morton's watch and wallet in his possession when he was arrested.
The Port of Portland Police Employees Association released a statement Monday after the sentencing. It described their friend Mort as "a kind and wonderful man" and said he will be greatly missed.
Morton worked as a police dispatcher for 16 years.