PALATKA, Fla. (CBS/AP) She looks like an angel … the angel of death that is.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan Leppert wept as she was sentenced Tuesday to a mandatory life prison term for the slaying of a 66-year-old handless man last year so she could run away with her boyfriend. Their plan was to steal James Thomas Stewart's truck and drive off into the sunset, but prosecutors say robbery turned to murder.
The family of Stewart, who was born without hands and slain in his rural home, gave emotional testimony during the hearing.
"Every night when I go to sleep, I pray that this whole thing will be one big bizarre nightmare," said Stewart's brother, Mike Stewart, according to Action News 47.
A Flagler County jury convicted Leppert last month of first-degree murder, but the state did not seek the death penalty because of her age. Her boyfriend, 23-year-old Toby Lowry, previously pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Leppert's attorney immediately filed an appeal.