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Chester County man sentenced to life in prison for killing his girlfriend in a brutal assault

An East Vincent Township man was sentenced to life in prison Monday in an attack that prosecutors described as “slow, tortuous, painful and degrading.”

Leroy Brahm III, 33, was convicted of first-degree murder for the December 2021 killing of Annabel Meenan, 21, . Brahm brutally attacked Meenan in the home they shared, punching, kicking and stomping her body during an hours-long assault. The attack was captured by home surveillance cameras prosecutors said he had set up to monitor Meenan when he wasn’t home.

That surveillance, and the paranoia behind it, betrayed the fraying of the couple’s tumultuous, abusive relationship, Deputy District Attorney Kate Wright said Monday. Brahm, Wright said, had manipulated and controlled Meenan’s life since he first met her when she was 17 years old.

“One lifetime is simply not enough for him,” Wright said Monday as she described the severe injuries that Brahm inflicted on Meenan. “Annabel deserved a life, and now the only thing we can give her is justice.”

Brahm’s attorney, Scott McIntosh, argued at trial that his client never intended to kill Meenan. He and alcohol, giving in to his anger and losing control.

At Monday’s proceeding, McIntosh told Chester County Court Judge Alita Rovito “the jury didn’t buy” that theory of the case, and said his client was prepared for the mandatory life sentence that came with a first-degree murder conviction.

Rovito, however, didn’t seem to buy McIntosh’s explanation either: She sentenced Brahm to an additional 18-to-40 years in state prison for two counts of aggravated assault Brahm had also been convicted of at trial for prior injuries he had inflicted on Meenan.

Rovito, in passing down that sentence, made her feelings clear, saying Brahm had “beaten Annabel like a caged animal” and showed no remorse during the trial, even laughing and smiling during testimony.

“I am generally an optimist. I like to give a chance to see the good in people,” Rovito said. “You have given me no chance. I do not believe you can be rehabilitated.”

Brahm and Meenan had argued for months over her relationship with Kevin Walters, a regular at the Black Horse Tavern in Phoenixville, the bar the couple often drank at. Brahm had brought Walters into their relationship, encouraging Meenan to have sex with him. That arrangement later led to jealousy, as Brahm saw that Meenan was spending more time with Walters, and seemed to prefer him to Brahm, prosecutors said.

On Dec. 3, 2021, after a night of drinking at the tavern, Brahm and Meenan got into an argument in their home on Buttonwood Avenue, Wright said. Brahm punched Meenan more than 80 times and slammed her head into their cat’s litter box.

Brahm dragged Meenan by her hair throughout the house, then jumped and stomped on her body, hard enough at one point to knock a hole into the drywall.

He later knocked Meenan off the couch she had been sitting on, and flipped the piece of furniture on top of her. He then sat on the couch, eventually falling asleep. He awoke the next morning to find her dead, and called police, telling them her injuries were due to rough sex.

But it was far from the first time Brahm had hurt her. During one assault in November 2021, Brahm kicked Meenan hard enough in her leg that he fractured her fibula, prosecutors said. A week later, he choked her to the point of unconsciousness.

Members of for the sentencing. They described, through tears, how Brahm had slowly twisted Meenan against them, preventing her from speaking or spending time with her loved ones as a means of controlling her.

Her father, Brian, said that his life ended when hers did, describing himself as a shell of who he once was. He lamented that his daughter had never experienced true love, and would forever be robbed of marriage and a family of her own.

“A loss like this is like the loss of a limb,” he said. “You never truly heal. You just learn to adjust to a new existence.”

Even after her death, Meenan’s legacy lived on, her family said. Her coworkers at Rothman Orthopedics organized fundraisers for women’s shelters and dedicated a bench in her name. Other women in abusive relationships heard Meenan’s story and left their own toxic partners.

Speaking now, two-and-a-half years after Meenan’s death, her family said they wished she could’ve done the same.