Teen Sentenced To 62 Years In Murder Plot

(GOSHEN, Ind.) -- A third Middlebury teenager who admitted to helping plan and carry out the murder of a friend's mother has been sentenced to 62 years in prison.

Elkhart Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker gave Aaron McDonald, 18, credit for helping lead investigators to Barbara Keim's body.

But he said McDonald joined Hannah Stone, the victim's daughter, and her boyfriend, Spenser Krempetz, in the plot to kill Keim on Aug. 4. All three teens were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal confinement.

McDonald said during his sentencing Thursday that he became involved for a promise of $400. He also returned to Keim's apartment and wrote himself a check for $800, he said. He said he wanted the money promised by Krempetz to buy cocaine and marijuana.

"You ended up with $900. You were part of a conspiracy," Shewmaker said. "You did it for financial gain. Life is not that cheap."

McDonald read a statement asking for the Keim family to "find it in your hearts to forgive me for the senseless acts I was involved in. I would do anything to bring her back. I am not a murderer. I am not a bad kid."

As they did in the previous two sentencing hearings, the victim's sister and husband spoke to the judge about the effect the murder has had on the family.

Police say McDonald, Stone, 18, and Krempetz, 19, bound and abducted Keim from her Middlebury apartment and took her to a cornfield, where she was shot in the back of the head by Krempetz.

Stone was sentenced to 100 years in prison after pleading guilty to her role in her mother's murder. Krempetz also pleaded guilty to the three charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)