Charles Rosen, who was convicted of second degree murder, has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 17 years.

Rosen was convicted in connection with the March 2009 death of Gary Donato.

Donato's decomposing body was found on the balcony of his Brantford apartment several weeks after his death. He died of multiple blunt-force trauma, the result of eight or nine hammer blows to the head.

About 20 of his family and friends were gathered in the Brantford courtroom for Rosen's sentencing. Many were upset Rosen didn't get the maximum 25 years before being eligible for parole.

Close friend Tammy Hill believes the sentence isn't nearly long enough. She says "He literally gave that man the shirt off his back and in return he murdered him, cold blooded murder."

Others believe Rosen should never get out.

But the case has been a complicated one. The court heard during the trial that Rosen was found in Donato's car attempting to commit suicide.

There were also many witnesses called during the course of the trial, and a jury selected the second degree murder conviction based on the evidence presented.

Rosen was also in the courtroom Thursday, wearing leg shackles and handcuffs.

Before the sentencing he told the court "I'm sorry and aggrieved that Gary is no longer with us. He was my friend."

But reaction in the courtroom was skeptical.

Donato's cousin Nancy Wighton, who also gave a victim impact statement, says "He said it so fast and there's no remorse, no emotion, no nothing."

While his second degree murder conviction carried an automatic life sentence, the judge had to decide how many years he would serve before being eligible for parole.

The Crown had asked for 17 years while the defence wanted 12 years. The defence attorney says he's disappointed with the decision and his client may consider an appeal.

Wighton says "We'll still be there in 17 years hoping that he doesn't get out because I know if he's capable of doing this once, he's capable of doing it again."

Nonetheless the sentencing does bring some closure, and Donato's family and friends say they will continue to remember him as a kind and giving person and a friend to all.

Close friend Bob MacNeil says "He was a man that would do anything for anybody and when he got killed it just tore a part of me away."