Indiana teen Chastinea Reeves sentenced 45 years jail after stabbing her mother, Jamie Garnett- 60 times to death. Judge demands suspect explain motive in ‘heinous,’ attack.
An Indiana teen accused of stabbing her mother more than 60 times was on Wednesday sentenced to 45 years jail for the ‘premeditated, heinous murder,’ according to court records.
Chastinea T. Reeves, 17, was sentenced after pleading guilty in the February 2017 slaying of 34-year-old Jamie Garnett at their home in Gary, about 30 miles southeast of Chicago.
Reeves admitted she stabbed, cut and chopped her mother more than 60 times The Northwest Indiana Times reported.
Reeves, who was 15 at the time of the slaying, was charged as an adult in Lake Superior Court.
Judge Boswell demanded to know why a plea agreement called for minimum sentence:
Leading up to her sentencing, Reeves said she missed her mother and wished she hadn’t killed her.
Of note- Judge Boswell asked Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Maureen Koonce to explain why a plea agreement called for the minimum sentence.
She outlined how evidence showed Reeves not only contemplated killing her mother the day of the murder, but had thought about it previously.
‘Not only is this a premeditated, heinous murder, it’s also your mother,’ Judge Boswell said. ‘I don’t get it. What are the mitigating factors that caused her to get the minimum?’
Defense attorney John Cantrell said Reeves was just 15 when she committed the crime and could be in her 50s by the time she is released.
‘She’s a child,’ he said. ‘She accepted responsibility, and she’s remorseful.’
He didn’t think Reeves had any chance of being acquitted at trial because prosecutors had the knife used to kill Garnett with Reeves’ fingerprint in blood according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chastinea Reeves mystery motive: ‘Tell me why you did this?’
Judge Boswell said Reeves did not appear to be remorseful during previous court appearances and asked the teen to speak for herself.
‘Tell me why you did this,’ Judge Boswell demanded. ‘Why did you feel you had to do this to your mom?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ Reeves said.
But the judge persisted, telling her it was a chance to explain why she should receive the minimum sentence.
‘I cannot accept this plea, and you can go to trial and face up to 65 years,’ Boswell said. ‘Help me understand why you did this. Your being young doesn’t impress me. You knew better. You knew better than this.’
‘If I could go back, I wouldn’t do it again,’ the teen responded. ‘I’m only a child, but I know that doesn’t excuse it.
‘I do miss my mother, and I wish I wouldn’t have done it,’ the girl said, now in tears.
‘She’ll be in her 50s when she’s released, and that’s an incredible portion of her life,’ her lawyer, Cantrell, said.
Koonce said Reeves has no criminal history and that the DNA evidence in the case is complex.
Suspect’s grandmother: ‘I don’t understand, because she was such a good child’.
Reeve’s grandmother Rosemary Cruz was then invited to speak before sentencing was passed.
‘I don’t know exactly what to say,’ she said. ‘I don’t understand, because she was such a good child,’ Cruz said of her granddaughter.
‘All I can ask is that she can receive some type of therapy,’ she said. ‘Something’s wrong. Something snapped. I hope she can get some type of help mentally to get through what she has done.’
‘She deserves what she gets. I’m not saying what she did was OK, but I do feel she needs therapy,’ she said.
The judge ordered Reeves to undergo a psychological evaluation and receive recommended treatment.
As Reeves was escorted out of the court by a female sheriff’s officer, her uncle — Garnett’s brother — shouted out, ‘We love you, baby.’ A claim of words that perhaps been too long in the coming for one young child.