NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - A judge has handed down his sentence for convicted killer John Freeman Thursday afternoon in Niagara County Court.
The 17-year-old learned he will spend 22 years to life in prison for killing 5-year-old Isabella Tennant last summer. Police found her body in a trash bin in Niagara Falls. Freeman’s friend, Tyler Best, admitted to hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence when he helped dump Bella’s body.
Isabella's uncle, Jack Tennant, read a statement in court, "I will be in pain for the rest of my life. I didn't get to see Isabella start kindergarten, first grade, high school, teacher her how to drive, go to her prom or get married and have children."
Bella’s mother, Crystal Walker, has been in touch with News 4 throughout the murder case. She said, “I wake up everyday devastated and hurting for my daughter. Although I can't say what I really hope happens to him, I hope he receives the maximum sentence."
Authorities say Freeman choked Isabella to death. Prosecutors say the teen appeared calm when he explained what happened to police.
"He spoke in cold detail of how with his bare hands, he killed a defenseless 5-year-old girl," Assistant District Attorney Holly Sloma said.
In court, the 17-year-old apologized.
"I'm so sorry to their family. Nothing can take away from that. I under that. I have to wake up every day with that. I'm sorry," Freeman said.
Walker says the sentence doesn't help with the pain she still feels over the loss of her little girl.
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