Teenager who admitted to killing custodial father sentenced to life in prison


The Ashland, Wisconsin teenager who pleaded guilty to killing the man who raised him was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

15-year-old Joseph Ackley was convicted earlier this year of fatally shooting William Saari – his uncle and custodian – and stabbing him 37 times in late 2013, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The judge handed down his sentence after Saari's wife pleaded with the court to put the teen away for good, APG media says.

"The person we called 'son' for 12 years ripped my world apart," Carolyn Saari said, according to the news service. "He put me in prison for the rest of my life, with no parole. He not only murdered the love of my life, but he took my family away from me."

Investigators said the teen's plans arose because he was angry – he'd been ordered not to leave his parents' home following his release from a juvenile detention center, Northland's News Center reported.

However, Ackley's defense lawyer asked the court for leniency, noting his client's troubled life; according to the Duluth News Tribune, he said the boy was born "addicted to cocaine and showing symptoms of fetal-alcohol syndrome" before the Saaris took him in.

The Associated Press says the judge did include the possibility of parole – in 2055, when he is 54 years old.

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