UPDATE: Federal Judge Sentences Heinrich To 20 Years In Prison
MINNEAPOLIS -- The man who admitted to kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing Jacob Wetterling has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on a child pornography charge.
It is the maximum the law allows on the single child pornography count.
WJON reporter Lee Voss was in the courtroom in Minneapolis Monday morning for the sentencing of Danny Heinrich.
The judge says "we won't pretend this is about child pornography. It's not. It's about taking Jared Scheirel's childhood and taking Jacob Wetterling's life."
Victim statement's were heard from all of the Wetterling family members, and also from Aaron Larson and Jared Scheirel. Patty Wetterling said,
"from this day forward she won't spend one minute thinking of Heinrich, and they are taking Jacob with them when they leave the courtroom.".
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall released a statement on Heinrich's sentencing saying,
"The victims spoke eloquently today of the real effects of these crimes, not only for themselves but on behalf of all victims. The resilience, strength, and insight of these victims brought together by evil, are now joined by Jacob's Hope".
A plea deal struck between the U.S. Attorney's Office and Heinrich calls for no charges in the death of Jacob. In exchange for leading authorities to Jacob's body, prosecutors took the murder charge off the table and allowed him to plead guilty to child pornography charges. Heinrich led authorities to Jacob's remains this summer as part of a plea bargain that ended a mystery that had haunted Minnesota for nearly three decades.
Jacob was abducted near his home in St. Joseph on Oct. 22, 1989.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.