SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy was sentenced Monday to life in prison with a chance at parole at age 50 in the hatchet killing of his great-grandmother in Sheboygan Falls.
Antonio Barbeau had pleaded no contest to first-degree intentional homicide in the September 2012 death of Barbara Olson, 78.
Barbeau will be eligible for parole in 2048, WBAY-TV reported.
He read a statement in court Monday, saying he regretted he did. He apologized and asked for forgiveness.
Barbeau was facing life in prison and a minimum of 20 years behind bars before he would be eligible for parole. Because of his age, he can’t be sentenced to life in prison without parole. The parole date was a year later than what the state had requested, Sheboygan Press Media reported.
“In my 24 years on the bench, I’ve not seen anything of this nature. Not even close,” Circuit Court Judge Timothy Van Akkeren said in issuing his sentence. “It gives me great sadness to see someone of your age going into the system.”
Several family members read statements asking for leniency and blaming a head injury Barbeau suffered at age 10 for his actions.
Prosecutors say Barbeau and 14-year-old Nathan Paape broke into Olson’s home to rob her and then killed her with a hammer and a hatchet. The boys were 13 at the time.
Paape is set to be sentenced Tuesday. Paape was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide following a jury trial in June.
Paape’s attorneys alleged the scheme was Barbeau’s idea and that Paape thought it was a joke. Barbeau testified that the two hatched the plan together.
The boys had just entered Olson’s garage through an unlocked side door when Olson found them and invited them in.
The boys followed her inside and attacked her. The two gave varying accounts of how they carried out the attack, but both admitted participating.
During his trial, Paape testified he struck Olson only twice with a hammer out of fear Barbeau would turn on him. Barbeau, meanwhile, testified they each took turns striking Olson with the hatchet.
After the attack, the boys stole jewelry and money from Olson’s home and a day later tried to cover up the crime by parking Olson’s unlocked car at a Sheboygan bowling alley and leaving the jewelry inside it in hopes someone would steal the vehicle and be implicated in her death.
Ultimately, they made away with about $150 in cash.