SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy will have his first chance at parole when he’s 45 for his part in the killing of an elderly Sheboygan Falls woman.
Nathan Paape was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with parole eligibility in 31 years, about five years earlier than his accomplice in the hammer and hatchet slaying of Barbara Olson.
The victim’s great-grandson, 14-year-old Antonio Barbeau, was sentenced Monday to life in prison with parole eligibility in 36 years.
Sheboygan County Judge Timothy Van Akkeren conceded that Paape acted more as a follower in the murder and was slightly less culpable.
“The question is, how far do you follow someone when they ask you to do something that you know in your heart is wrong?” Van Akkeren said before issuing the sentence. “He followed in a way that no person should consider.”
District Attorney Joe DeCecco had asked that Paape receive the same sentence as Barbeau, who was given life in prison with eligibility for parole in 36 years.
Paape’s attorneys argued that the murder and robbery scheme was Barbeau’s idea because he was a runaway and needed money. The two gave widely varying accounts of how they carried out the attack Sept. 17, but both admitted to participating.
The boys entered Olson’s garage through an unlocked door when Olson found them and invited her great-grandson and Paape inside her home. Both teens testified they struck Olson no more than eight times between them, but a medical examiner who performed Olson’s autopsy said she had been struck a minimum of 27 times.
Paape said he struck Olson twice with a hammer because he feared Barbeau would turn on him. Barbeau testified they each took turns striking Olson with a hatchet.
After the attack, the boys stole jewelry and $150 from Olson’s home, then attempted 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.
Information from: The Sheboygan Press, http://www.sheboygan-press.com