17-year-old Rachel Shoaf was sentenced to 30 years in prison this morning for her role in the murder of her best friend, 16-year-old Skylar Neese in July 2012. Rachel confessed and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year. You can read my prior posts about this case HERE.
During the sentencing hearing, Rachel got up and spoke to the court. She said that she is sorry and that words can’t describe what she did. She apologized to God, Skylar’s family, and the community. Her defense attorney told the court that without Rachel’s confession, there may not have ever been a case. Her attorney asked the court to sentence her as a juvenile.
Skylar’s father, Dave Neese, as well as her uncle, read victim impact statements to the court. Dave said he understands that Rachel cooperated and helped investigators, but she murdered his daughter in cold blood. He said Rachel could take her apologies and “sit on them.” He asked the court to sentence her to the maximum 40 years in prison.
Skylar’s uncle recalled the days after Skylar’s disappearance. He recalled handing out flyers with Skylar’s picture on them, and all the opposition they faced from everyone while looking for her, including a police officer who said that Skylar was “full of it” and would be home soon.
Rachel’s statement to police was then read in court. She told police that she and Shelia killed Skylar because she was always getting in the way and they were always fighting. She said that she and Shelia took shovels and knives from their family members and planned to have Skylar sneak out of her house. She said that they counted to three and attacked Skylar. Skylar tried to run, but Rachel tackled her. They then stabbed her ten times before she died.
The prosecutor remarked how “murder by a stranger is horrible. Murder by a friend is unthinkable.”
The judge denied the request to have Shoaf being sentenced as a juvenile, before sentencing her to 30 years in prison.