Crime 'Evil' Fla. Man Intentionally Ran over Elderly Vietnam Veteran, Saying He Was 'Looking for Someone To Kill' Justyn Pennell, 24, was sentenced last week to life in prison after pleading no contest to a felony charge of first-degree premeditated homicide By Steve Helling Published on March 30, 2022 03:39 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office A Florida man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for intentionally running over a 75-year-old man he didn't know because he said he wanted to know what it was like to kill someone. Justyn Pennell, 24, was sentenced last week to life in prison after pleading no contest to a felony charge of first-degree premeditated homicide. Pennell was driving his PT Cruiser on January 9, 2020 when he spotted Michael Pratt, a Vietnam veteran and grandfather. According to a police report of the incident, Pennell drove past Pratt and then made a U-turn and intentionally ran right into him. Pratt tried to get out of the way, but Pennell struck him with his car. Pratt, 75, died at the scene. After his car stopped working about a half mile away from the impact, Pennell pulled over and dialed 911. According to charging affidavits and court testimony, Pennell told deputies at the scene that he intentionally ran into Pratt to see what it would be like to kill someone at random. The arrest report obtained by the Tampa Bay Times alleges that Pennell said he was "looking for someone to kill." He claimed to have "smiled and laughed" when he saw the look of fear on Pratt's face. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. During a Jan. 10, 2020, news conference, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco called Pennell "pure evil" and said that Pennell and Pratt didn't know each other. Preliminary hearings in the case were broadcast on CourtTV. The cable network reported that the defense wanted to introduce information that Pennell had autism and Asperger's diagnoses, but that the judge denied the motion. Pennell then decided to plead no contest in the case. At his sentencing hearing last Wednesday, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Mary Handsel adjudicated Pennell guilty and thanked him for sparing Pratt's family the pain of a trial. "I can only imagine what it would have been, if we heard it live," Handsel told Pennell in court. "Your voice, saying these words that were, as the doctor put, 'callous, without remorse.'" Under Florida law, Pennell is not eligible for parole, meaning that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. His public defender did not immediately return a call for comment.