Boy and pal, both 14, get life in slaying of his great-grandmother, 78

Juvenile Justice

Boy and pal, both 14, get life in slaying of his great-grandmother, 78

Aug 13, 2013, 06:35 pm CDT

Apparently motivated by a desire for marijuana and pizza, two Wisconsin teens killed the 78-year-old great-grandmother of one of the boys last year with a hammer and a hatchet, then ransacked her Sheboygan home. They found $155 in cash and some jewelry, authorities said.

Now 14 and convicted of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of Barbara Olson almost a year ago, Antonio Barbeau and Nathan Paape were sentenced this week to life terms that will require them to spend at least three decades in prison, according to Fox 6 Now and the New York Daily News. The two, who were 13 at the time of the crime, were tried as adults.

“In my 24 years on the bench, I’ve not seen anything of this nature. Not even close,” said Judge Timothy Van Akkeren on Monday as he sentenced Barbeau. The teen started crying as he tried to read an apology, then broke down as the judge said he will be eligible for parole at age 50.

Paape, who was sentenced on Tuesday to life in the Sheboygan County case, could get out in 2043, when he is 45 years old.

Because of their age, the two could not be sentenced to life without parole, but they were required by state law to get life, explained the Fond du Lac Reporter and the Sheboygan Press.

Defense lawyers pointed to a brain injury Barbeau suffered in an accident in 2009 and said Paape had been a follower rather than a leader in the slaying of Olson. The state had sought the same prison term for both defendants.

Van Akkeren could have allowed the two to be paroled in as little as 20 years.

Nikki Olson, who is Barbeau’s mom, told the judge that the slain woman wouldn’t have wanted her granddaughter to be “contributing to ruining a child’s life” by seeking a severe prison term for the two boys.

However, the judge said he had gone with the low end of what was justified given the “horrrific” nature of the crime.

“You have two 13-year-old kids bludgeoning a woman to death. This is Stephen King type of stuff,” prosecutor District Attorney Joe DeCecco told the Press after Tuesday’s sentencing. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

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