Teen sentenced for killing of great-grandmother with hatchet
SHEBOYGAN - A teenager cried several times during his three-hour sentencing proceeding.
A judge sentenced 14-year-old Antonio Barbeau to life with eligibility for parole on his 50th birthday. There is no guarantee Barbeau will ever get out of prison.
Instead of starting his freshman year in high school, Barbeau will go to prison. He showed varying emotions in court. At times, Barbeau wiped tears from his face. Barbeau smirked and shook his head when the prosecutor spoke.
The young defendant appeared too overwhelmed to give a full statement in court. Barbeau read only a few words before giving his hand-written notes to his attorney.
"There's a lot being said by the news, DA and many other people that I'm a cold, heartless, careless killer. That's not true," Barbeau told the judge. "I know I don't show my emotions much. I myself am not sure why."
Barbeau's great-grandmother Barbara Olson was found dead in her Sheboygan Falls home last year. Barbeau and his friend Nathan Paape admitted to killing the woman with a hatchet and hammer. They took her cash and bought pizza and pot, Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco said.
"I don't really care about rehabilitation in this one," DeCecco told reporters. "I just want to put them away so they can't... so they understand the seriousness of the crime."
Barbeau will almost certainly start his prison sentence at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections' Lincoln Hills School for Boys, which is north of Wausau.
The crime has divided Barbeau's family. Some family members urged Judge Terry Van Akkeren to make the boy eligible for parole after a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison.
“This is not a cold-hearted child and my mother was not a vindictive person," said Judy Offutt. Offutt is the victim's daughter and Barbeau's grandmother.
Other family members agreed with the sentence.
"He won't necessarily get out when he's 50," the victim's son, Steven Olson, told reporters. "He will still have to prove he's worthy to become a member of society. I think that's the way it should be."
It will be more than 35 years before Barbeau is eligible for parole on November 24, 2048, his 50th birthday.