Antonio Barbeau, 14, was sentenced on Monday to life in prison for killing his 78-year-old great-grandmother Barbara Olson with a hatchet in September 2012.
The teen will be eligible for parole when he is 50 years old. He was 13 when he participated in the murder, reports the Shaboygan Press.
Barbeau tried to read a written apology in court, started crying and handed it to his defense attorney to read (video below).
Barbeau pleaded no contest in June to first-degree intentional homicide, while Paape was convicted in a jury trial.
Olson was killed by the teens in her Sheboygan, Wisconsin home during a robbery.
When Olson turned her back to call Barbeau's mother, the boy hit her in the head with a hatchet. How many times he hit her is not clear.
Barbeau said he ran to the bathroom because he was feeling sick. When Barbeau returned, the teen said he saw Paape hit Olson multiple times with a hammer.
“In my 24 years on the bench, I’ve not seen anything of this nature. Not even close. It gives me great sadness to see someone of your age going into the system... I’m sorry to see this have to happen,” said Judge Timothy Van Akkeren.
The court ruled that Barbeau had a brain injury from a 2009 car accident that gave him an "unspecified cognitive disorder," but said that did not excuse him.
"I feel bad for the family. I know they love him. But this type of crime cannot go unanswered and be explained away by brain trauma," said district attorney Joe DeCecco.
"The kid’s life is gone. He has to wait until he’s 50. He won’t be anything like he is today. But that’s the way it is."
The teen's grandmother Judy Offut told the court: "My mom was not a vindictive person. She would want [Antonio] to have a chance to be a better person, to have hope, to have something to work towards."
Barbeau's friend Nathan Paape claimed the robbery and murder were Barbeau's idea and that he only hit Olson twice with a hammer because he feared Barbeau would turn on him.
Paape claims that he thought Barbeau was joking about killing Olson, however, Barbeau said Paape never thought it was a joke.
Paape will be sentenced tomorrow.
Source: Shaboygan Press