MADISON (WKOW) -- A woman who stole food stamps from her murdered stepson received a one year Dane County jail sentence.
49-year old Laura Robar asked the court for forgiveness Monday.
"I made a mistake," Robar said.
Judge Julie Genovese said Robar's crimes were aggravated by the fact Robar knew her 27-year old autistic stepson, Matthew Graville, had been harmed and would not return to his Mazomanie home.
Authorities said Graville was beaten to death, and his body hidden and buried in Sauk County.
Graville's half brother, Jeffrey Vogelsberg, faces trial for first degree intentional homicide in connection to Graville's killing. Graville's landlord, Robert McCumber is charged with helping to hide the corpse.
"I'm sorry I didn't protect Matt the way I should have," a tearful Robar told the court.
Robar's father, Jim Robar, praised his daughter as a caring person, who has helped family members, friends, and vulnerable people she came into contact with in connection with her former positions with Dane County.
But Graville's mother, Vicki Graville, broke down on the witness stand as she took Robar and others to task.
"My son was wrongfully taken from me by people that claimed to care, and love," Graville said.
Genovese said the one year sentence was intended to send a message to those who would consider taking advantage of the vulnerable.
Genovese said Robar was able to misuse Graville's Quest (food share) card because she formerly worked for the Dane County agency responsible for the food stamp program. Robar's misuse of Graville's food stamps took place on two dates in July at a Madison grocery store for a total of less than $200 in merchandise value. But assistant Dane County district attorney Robert Kaiser said Robar wrongfully withdrew hundreds of dollars from a bank account she shared with Graville after Graville's disappearance. Robar was never charged with any crimes in connection to the bank withdrawals.
Genovese said Robar should have provided authorities information on Graville's disappearance sooner than she did. Authorities said Vogelsberg demanded anyone with knowledge of Graville being harmed maintain Graville had simply disappeared.
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