It took two trials to get us to this point, but Kaitlyn Conley, the Sauquoit woman found guilty in the death of her boss was sentenced on a manslaughter charge this morning. Judge Michael Dwyer gave Conley a determinate sentence of 23 years.
Up to the final minutes before sentencing, Conley had one thing to say.
"With all do respect to the justice system and to our jury system, I'm innocent," Conley said.
But before she could speak, the attorneys has their turn, including Frank Policelli. He began with making a motion to set aside the guilty verdict.
"You can't prove that she gave this woman poison on that date. no rational juror could come to that conclusion," Policelli said.
The prosecution said otherwise.
"The evidence that the defendant was the perpetrator of this crime was overwhelming," said Michael Coluzza, the First Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the District Attorney.
And when it came to Judge Dwyer's sentence, he said he's seen and read it all. But it's Mary Yoder, the victim of this crime, who influenced his decision the most.
"The thing that stands out in my mind most of all is those last two days of Mary Yoder's life," Dwyer said.
A life painted by her immediate family today as they stepped up to the podium to give their victim impact statements. All four people remembering how much Mary meant to them.
"She was the center of our lives and our family," said Liana Hegde, Mary Yoder's eldest child.
William Yoder, Mary Yoder's husband, even describes how Mary loved Conley like her own daughter. But William said when Conley got into a fight with Adam Yoder, his son and also conley's ex, she had no remorse.
"So what did she do? Did she post nasty comments on Facebook like other normal people do? No. To get even with my son she decided to murder his mother," William said.
Adam expressed he did not want to speak today because he didn't want to give Conley the satisfaction of seeing what he believes she may have set out to do...to hurt him.
"With every bone in my body and every drop of blood in my veins, I hate Kaitlyn Anne Conley because Kaitlyn Anne Conley murdered my mother," Adam said. " But I hate myself infinitely more. I introduced her to my family, I got her a job with my parents, and if I hadn't done those things, my mother would still be alive."
Yet, when it came to the rebuttable from the defense, Mary's own sister got up to the podium describing how she believes Conley remains innocent.
"In my heart of hearts, I don't believe that Kaitlyn would ever hurt mary."
Despite the presentations, the prosecution feels justice for Mary has finally been served.
"Considering what she did and considering the hell she put this family through, I think that the 23 years is a very good sentence," said Assistant District Attorney, Laurie Lisi.
"Here's the problem. When you have a sentencing, you could get a lower sentence if you're a person who admits their guilt, is remorseful, shows that they've learned their lesson and they'll never do it again. But when you're innocent, you can't say anything except, "i'm innocent,'" Policelli said.
Policelli has already filed the appeal and another attorney will be taking over that process.
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