CREATED Aug. 13, 2013
SHEBOYGAN - Nathan Paape appeared stoic in court as he braced for his sentence Tuesday. This young convicted murderer didn't even turn his head and hardly changed his facial expression during the brief proceeding. There was a slight quiver in this 14-year-old's voice as he spoke briefly to the judge.
"I truly regret every single thing that happened that day," Paape said softly. "Every single day that went by, I wish I could go back in time to stop everything from happening. That's it."
It was quite a contrast from the range of emotions displayed by Paape's accomplice in the same courtroom one day earlier.
Paape's friend Antonio Barbeau wiped tears from his face on Monday. When the district attorney Joe DeCecco spoke, Barbeau turned to look at the prosecution table. He shook his head and smirked during DeCecco's sentencing recommendation remarks. Barbeau appeared too overwhelmed to finish his own statement.
"I know I don't show my emotions much. I myself am not sure why. But, that doesn't mean I...," Barbeau said, stopping abruptly and handing his notes to his attorney.
Both boys are sentenced to life in prison for killing Barbeau's great-grandmother Barbara Olson in her Sheboygan Falls home. However, Paape will be eligible for parole on his 45th birthday. That's five years earlier than Barbeau.
There's no guarantee either teen will ever be released from prison.
"Mr. Paape is the follower in this case," Judge Timothy van Akkeren said. "I do find there is less culpability."
Paape left quietly after receiving his punishment Tuesday.
On Monday, Barbeau broke down and had to be helped from the courtroom at the end of his sentencing hearing.
"I thought they should be treated the same," DeCecco told reporters Tuesday. "Both are in this together part and parcel. I don't really care who the leader was. They both fully participated, particularly in the cover-up."
Barbeau is only a few days older than Paape. They were both born in 1998. Barbeau was born November 24th. Paape's birthday is December 2nd.
Barbeau is eligible for parole in 2048. Paape is eligible for parole in 2043.
Barbeau and Paape both have a family history in front of Judge Van Akkeren. Van Akkeren said he previously sentenced Paape's father. The judge said he previously sentenced Barbeau's father and grandfather, making this the first time he sentenced three generations from the same family.