Rachel Shoaf Apologizes to Skylar Neese's Family During Sentencing
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on February 27, 2014 @ 12:26PM
Created on February 26, 2014 @ 6:47PM
Rachel Shoaf, 17, and Sheila Eddy, 18, killed their best friend 16-year-old Skylar Neese in July of 2012 after convincing her to sneak out of her home.
The three girls were supposed to go joyriding and smoke marijuana, but two of the girls had another plan. At one point, the girls got out of Eddy's car, and that's when Eddy and Shoaf started a countdown. When they got to the number one, they stabbed Skylar to death.
On Wednesday, Shoaf was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for her role in the murder. But before the sentence was handed down, Shoaf addressed the court and Skylar's family.
"I'm so sorry. I don't know if there's a proper way to to make this apology. The person that did that was not the real me, not the person I am, not what I'm made of, and not what I believe in," she said.
The 30 year sentence she received was ten more years than what prosecutors recommended. Dave and Mary Neese glared at Shoaf during her statement. "I became scared and caught up in something that I did not want to do," said Shoaf.
But she did end up going through with the murder plot. Skylar was presumed missing until Shoaf eventually came forward to investigators in January 2013. She told police that her and Eddy killed Skylar and tried to bury her body on the side of a road in Greene County, Pennsylvania. She led investigators to Skylar's remains shortly after her confession.
In May of 2013, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
On Wednesday, Skylar's family members were given a chance to address the court and Shoaf. When they spoke they didn't hold back.
Michael Neese is Skylar's Uncle. He said, "She never gave Skylar one ounce of mercy. Life for a life is what I read in the Bible and simply put she deserves no free life."
Skylar's Aunt Carol Michaud also spoke. She said, "At least your parents get to see your face, get to talk to you, and see you. We don't even get that luxury."
The hearing continued and more gruesome details behind the slaying surfaced. According to prosecutors, Shoaf admitted to investigators that Skylar was stabbed about ten times with kitchen knives before she died. Shoaf claims their motive was that Skylar was getting in the way of their friendship.
Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Ashdown elaborated on what Shoaf told police. "Skylar Neese's neck made weird sounds and they both continued to stab her until those noises stopped," said Ashdown.
Dave Neese said the apologies given by his daughter's murderers is something he can't accept.
"You can never, ever, say you're sorry to me or my wife because you're not. There will never be closure for us as far as you two are concerned," he said.
Shoaf was supposed to testify against Eddy but a trial was avoided when Eddy pleaded guilty to first degree murder on January 24. She was also sentenced to life with mercy and will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
Shoaf will remain in a juvenile facility until she's 18-years-old. A hearing will be scheduled before her birthday to decide where she will serve the rest of her sentence. Shoaf will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
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