JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Court records released Friday show investigators seized more than one hundred items, including marijuana and possible human teeth, from an Evansville home in connection with the disappearanceMore >>
Court records released Friday show investigators seized more than one hundred items, including marijuana and possible human teeth, from an Evansville home in connection with the disappearance of 18-year old Aprina Paul of FitchburgMore >>
JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A judge has sentenced Nathan Middleton to 22 years in prison for mutilating, then burning the body of Fitchburg teenager Aprina Paul at his home in Evansville.
At the Wednesday afternoon sentencing hearing, Middleton told the court he was sorry and said he did not hurt Paul in any way, and his attorney asked for a sentence of 12 years or less.
"I hope people forgive me over time," Middleton said/
In dispensing the sentence, Rock County Judge Richard Werner said Middleton robbed Paul's mother of a chance to say goodbye to her daughter and properly bury her.
Authorities say Middleton burned the 18-year-old Fitchburg woman's remains in a pit behind his home in October 2013. Middleton told police he contacted Paul through a Craigslist ad, and that she took drugs and the two had sex at his home. He says he woke up to find her dead, then disposed of her body.
In explaining his client's actions in court Wednesday, Middleton's attorney argued Middleton panicked when he found Paul dead and feared his probation was at risk.
Paul's mother, Alice Larrue told the judge she and other family members have been traumatized by Paul's death.
After the hearing, Larrue told 27 News she's left unsatisfied by Middleton's sentence, and still lack closure.
"He needs to be charged for murder," Larrue said. Paul's death remains an open case. A prosecutor said only three bones were recovered from the fire's remnants.
More than fifty of Paul's family members and friends attended the sentencing, and several wore tee shirts honoring Paul's memory.
Many people in the gallery gasped when a prosecutor said Middleton took cell phone photos of the fire which included Paul's remains.
Paul was African-American. A prosecutor said Middleton was an active member of a white supremacy group.
Middleton was on probation for two felony convictions at the time of his crimes, and will have to serve prison time in connection with those convictions as the result of his probation being revoked. As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Middleton pleaded guilty to charges of hiding a corpse and mutilating a corpse.
At the time of Middleton's crimes against Paul, Middleton was a cab driver in Madison, despite his felony convictions for offenses including armed burglary. A Madison Police captain said more scrutiny has been given to the records of cab driver applicants as a result of the granting of a cab driver permit to Middleton.