Mother who watched while her boyfriend raped and murdered teen daughter sentenced to life
Her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, also pleaded guilty to the first-degree rape and murder and was given the death penalty
A judge in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has sentenced Sara Packer, the adoptive mother of 14-year-old Grace Packer, to life behind bars — as well as an additional 52 to 104 years — on March 29. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had earlier reported that the woman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the role she played in the 2016 rape, torture, murder, and dismemberment of her teenage daughter, which she had planned and carried out with her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan.
According to WFMZ, Packer was sentenced to life behind bars as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. MEAWW had earlier reported that 46-year-old Sullivan also pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, rape of a child and some other charges. Judge Diane Gibbons sentenced him to death yesterday while telling him: "You have no soul".
At the sentencing, Judge Gibbons spoke for almost an hour and said that "Sara Packer was no mother". WFMZ also reported that the judge said Grace "will stay with her" forever, and that she hopes Packer will "enjoy the state penitentiary for the rest of her life".
The Washington Post also reported that the judge told Packer: "You like rape. You like murder. That’s a fact." The mother and her boyfriend reportedly planned the teen's rape and murder for months before it took place. Packer said that she stood by and watched as Sullivan sexually assaulted and then murdered her daughter.
Sullivan later told investigators that the horrific incident started when he and Packer drove the teen girl to a rented residence in Richland Township on July 8, 2016. He said that once they reached the home, he punched Grace in her face and managed to split her lip.
The adults then gave Grace an overdose of pills before they bound and gagged her, leaving her to die in a blisteringly hot attic. The tenacious teen somehow survived the night and was able to escape her bindings.
The next day, however, the couple went back to the residence to finish the job. Packer said in court that Sullivan then put the teen in a chokehold and suffocated her.
The couple preserved Grace's body in cat litter for three whole months before they finally dismembered her and discarding her body in a remote location. The Morning Call reported that the corpse was later found by some hunters.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said previously: "Unfortunately, Grace Packer was a disposable child to these people. Who will now speak for Grace Packer? We will."
The judge told the 44-year-old mother at her sentencing that she was "evil". She said: "Evil recognizes evil. This is what happens when two evil people with similar evil interests get together. People like Grace Packer die." After the sentencing, DA Weintraub reportedly told lawmakers in the state to pass "Grace's Law", a new law that will help child protection.