WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — A man has been sentenced for the murder of a 35-year-old man in Walla Walla.

Colby Hedman was sentenced this week to more than 27 in prison for the premeditated murder last July of Whitman College employee Kyle Martz, The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported.

Hedman, 24, pleaded guilty in May to first-degree murder in Walla Walla County Superior Court. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of vehicle theft charge.

Hedman told police he struck Martz with an ax multiple times at Martz’s house before stealing his car and fleeing to Oregon, where he was arrested near Baker City after trying to elude police the same day. Investigators suspected that Hedman and Martz didn’t know each other.

Friends and family in the hearing said Martz was known for his “whole-heartedness and self-deprecation,” being “100% authentic” and “strong and resilient.”

Before sentencing, Hedman apologized to Martz’s friends and family, saying not a day goes by that his mind and soul isn’t troubled by his actions.