Indiana teen who fatally stabbed mom over 60 times sentenced to 45 years in prison: 'I miss my mother'
An Indiana teen who previously pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing her mother in a crime described as a "premeditated, heinous" murder has been sentenced to 45 years in prison at the Lake Superior Court.
According to the Northwest Indiana Times, 17-year-old Chastinea T. Reeves pleaded guilty to the February 2017 murder of her mother, 34-year-old Jamie Garnett, in April, with her sentence less than the maximum possible penalty because of a plea deal struck between the defense and prosecution.
Reeves was 15 when she admitted that she stabbed, cut, and chopped her mother more than 60 times on February 13, 2017, at their home in the 4400 blocks of West 23rd Place in Gary, around 30 miles southeast of Chicago. She was charged as an adult in the killing.
Following the announcement that a plea deal had been reached, Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell questioned defense attorney John Cantrell and Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Konce why they had called for the minimum sentence despite evidence showing that Reeves not only contemplated killing Garnett but had thought about it previously as well.
"Not only is this a premeditated, heinous murder, it's also your mother," she was quoted saying. "I don't get it. What are the mitigating factors that caused her to get the minimum?" Cantrell said he didn't think Reeves had a chance of being acquitted of her charges during a trial because the prosecution had with them the knife used to kill Garnett with his client's fingerprints all over it.
He said Reeves was just 15 when she committed the crime and will likely be in her 50s when she sees freedom once again, telling Boswell, "She's a child. She accepted responsibility and is remorseful."
But Boswell did not buy either of Cantrell's assertions. She said the teen did not appear very remorseful during her previous court appearances and asked her to speak for herself. "Tell me why you did this," she asked Reeves. "Why did you feel you had to do this to your mother?"
In response, the 17-year-old mumbled inaudibly, with Cantrell relaying the message to Boswell and saying the teen did not want to talk about it. Unsatisfied, the judge said this was her chance to explain why she deserved the minimum sentence.
"I cannot accept this plea, and you can go to trial and face up to 65 years," Boswell told her. "Help me understand why you did this. Your being young doesn't impress me. You knew better. You knew better than this." After a pause, Reeves began to speak through tears. "If I could go back, I wouldn't do it again," she said. "I do miss my mother, and I wish I wouldn't have done it."
Her grandmother testified that Reeves loved her mother and that she was a "good child", but conceded that "she deserves what she gets". She also asked that the 17-year-old receive therapy and mental help.
Following a discussion with Cantrell and Konce, Judge Boswell finally accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Reeves to 45 years in prison. She also ordered that Reeves receive a psychological evaluation and any recommended treatment.