Life sentence for teen who pleaded guilty in Willmar grandmother's murder


Robert Warwick was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty in the killing of his grandmother, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reports.

Warwick, 18, was accused of planning the murder of 79-year-old Lila Warwick. She was found dead after being stabbed and strangled in her Willmar home last summer. The sentence includes the possibility for parole after 30 years, the Republican Eagle notes.

Two other teenagers charged in the case previously pleaded guilty.

Brok Junkermeier, 19, admitted to stabbing and strangling Lila Warwick after months of planning, and said he entered his plea so the family wouldn’t have to hear more evidence. Junkermeier was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. And 16-year-old Devon Jenkins of Willmar, pleaded guilty in December to aiding and abetting second-degree murder and received a juvenile sentence. He’d been accused of waiting in the car while Junkermeier killed Lila Warwick.

Last week, it was reported Robert Warwick planned to plead guilty to first-degree murder; in exchange, a charge of first-degree premeditated murder was dropped.

In a Kandiyohi County court Wednesday Robert Warwick apologized to his family, including his mother and siblings, KSTP reports.

“I wish I could take back my actions but I know I can’t," he said, according to the station. "I hope one day everyone forgives me. I’m sorry to grandma, who’s watching over me every day of my life.”

Lila Warwick's daughter, Cheri Eckborn, read an emotional victim impact statement at the sentencing, KARE 11 reports., asking what happened to "that sweet young man that thought his grandma was his hero?"

"I hate the evil thing you did but I love you ... and your grandma loved you," she said.

Prosecutors say Warwick orchestrated the plan to rob and kill his grandmother, whom he believed had a safe in her house containing more than $40,000. She was murdered in her Willmar home on July 29, 2013, left for dead after being stabbed and strangled.

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