PALATKA, Fla. — A 16-year-old girl cried Tuesday morning as she is sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for killing a 66-year-old disabled man she and her 22-year-old boyfriend could take his money and truck.
Morgan Leppert initially confessed to investigators to helping her adult boyfriend kill a 66-year-old James Stewart last year so they could run away to California together.
The two never made it that far. Since a nationwide Amber Alert was issued for Leppert, they were spotted in Texas still driving Stewart’s truck and arrested on suspicion of panhandling. The two were returned to Putnam County to face charges.
Leppert later pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder, burglary and assault, but a jury found her guilty of all charges.
The state could not seek the death penalty because Leppert is a juvenile, but was convicted as an adult of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said Leppert and her then 22-year-old boyfriend, Toby Lowry, beat, stabbed and suffocated Stewart.
Seems like an appropriate sentence to me.