In a mumble, Conaway told Judge Glenn B. Bronson that he wanted to apologize to everyone who sat through "and was affected by this trial."
Bronson told Conaway he deserved to spend the rest of his life in a cell: "She showed you kindness and you committed a horrible murder - the way you beat her to death - for a pocketful of change."
Bronson noted that Conaway returned to Walton's house to steal more items during the 10 days before her body was found.
"This was a despicable, horrible, depraved crime," Bronson said.
Conaway's subdued conduct Friday was in sharp contrast to the trial, when he interrupted and challenged Bronson until the judge held him in contempt of court. At the end, Bronson had Conaway gagged and held in an anteroom so he could hear - but not disrupt - the judge's legal instructions before the jury began deliberating on Thursday.
Defense attorney Thomas L. McGill Jr. said Conaway told him not to appeal. Conaway did not testify at trial.
Walton was described as a dear friend and a force for good in the neighborhood around the 6300 block of Magnolia Street and among members of the New Covenant Church of Philadelphia nearby on Germantown Avenue.
"She was like a sister to me," Gwendolyn Gilliam told Bronson in a victim-impact statement. Gilliam said Walton secretly paid part of her husband's funeral costs and was always available for comfort and advice.
Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Naylor read a letter from Walton's son, Damon, who wrote asking Conaway: "I don't understand how you could do this to someone who watched you grow up."
Naylor said the evidence showed that Ellen Walton surprised Conaway in her house when she walked up from the basement.
Conaway pushed Walton down the steps, Naylor said, and then beat her in the head with an iron frying pan, breaking the handle.
"The medical examiner documented 15 different injuries including 11 lacerations and a punch or kick in the ribs," Naylor said.
Though unconscious, Walton may have been alive for a day on the basement floor, Naylor said.
Police were led to Conaway after witnesses - buttressed by surveillance video - described him "doing doughnuts" in Walton's Toyota in a parking lot.
Conaway's bloody fingerprint and DNA were also recovered from the door frame leading to the basement in Walton's house, Naylor said.
Afterward, Damon Walton said his mother would probably be alive if Conaway had paused for a moment.
"She probably wouldn't have even called police," Walton said. "She probably would have talked to him about his decision-making and let him go."
Contact staff writer Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @joeslobo on Twitter.