The family of slain Nathan Trapuzzano have forced themselves to accept the murderer’s plea deal in what they refer to as a “broken system.”
Nathan, 24, was shot dead by Simeon Adams, then 16, on his morning walk in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 1, 2014. At the time, his wife Jennifer was pregnant with their first child.
"I was 35 weeks pregnant and married and expected that at 40 weeks when I delivered my husband would be at my side," Jennifer told The Indianapolis Star. "It's hard to think that he's not here."
Adams was tried in adult court and accepted a plea deal on Thursday that carries an automatic sentence of 55 years, The Daily Mail reports. He could have been given the maximum of 78 years had the deal not been accepted, but it is unlikely to have happened due to Adams' first time in adult court. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 24.
The plea deal was accepted by the Trapuzzano family, with varying emotional responses.
“Because of the way our justice system works, or maybe doesn't work, we were all in agreement that this was our best option,” Trapuzzano's mother, Cheryl, said after Adams pleaded guilty to murder. “At least this way Simeon Adams will spend his sentence in prison, not on house arrest.”
Trapuzzano’s sister, Shayne, wanted a stronger punishment for Adams.
“It's not enough,” Shayne said. “The punishment does not fit the crime. This was a sure thing with him spending some time behind bars where he is unable to harm the general public … If the system worked, he would have never had the opportunity to kill Nathan.”
“I feel that the system definitely failed us,” Shayne said.
Adams may be eligible for parole with good behavior after serving around half his sentence, FOX 59 reports. He would then be in his mid-40s.
Jennifer established The Nathan Trapuzzano Memorial Foundation following her husband’s death to assist children who have lost a parent.
"Ultimately how can you make this a better thing," Jennifer said. "It's never going to be a good thing, but we can make good come out of evil."
"Nathan had such potential in life for what he did and could have done for other people," Cheryl said. "We just want his legacy to go on."
Photo Credit: The Daily Mail