By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Convicted murderer Danna Weimer will spend a minimum of 44 years in prison for the death of 77-year-old Eleanor Robertson, Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci ruled Wednesday.
In a courtroom packed with people, Weimer, 54, of Austinburg Township, sat emotionless as Lucci showed no leniency in punishment.
“What we see here is a pattern of substance abuse, but not a speck of genuine remorse,” Lucci said. “I believe a consecutive sentence is necessary to protect the public and punish the offender.”
Weimer, who was convicted of 17 counts in the June 13 murder and burglary of Robertson, declined to speak on her own behalf Wednesday. Her attorney, Aaron T. Baker, did not call any speakers to the podium.
Weimer stared at her shackled hands during the sentencing, never looking at Lucci or Robertson’s family, turning her head only to avoid the media cameras in the courtroom.
Lucci handed down consecutive prison sentences for each of the 17 counts against Weimer, including life in prison for stabbing the elderly woman 94 times. Weimer is not available for parole for 44 years, minus the 183 days she already served.
She was also ordered to pay $7,569 to the family for Eleanor’s funeral expenses.
Weimer’s son and co-defendant, Zachary Weimer, 23, was found guilty of 15 charges in the murder and burglary. He will be sentenced by Lake County Common Pleas Judge Vincent Culotta on Dec. 17, court records show.
Eleanor’s family and friends held yellow roses as they read letters to Lucci.
The victim’s daughter-in-law, Rory Robertson, said she prays for the strength to forgive
“You are evil,” she told Weimer. “You are Satan. I feel you should die for what you have done. I respect what the judge decides, but I hope you both rot in hell.”
Robertson’s daughter, Penny Borton, said she is haunted by dreams of her mother’s final moments.
“I have dreams of my mother calling for help,” she said. “I have visions of my mother being stabbed over and over and over again. I have developed a fear of being home alone.”
“Whatever sentence you get today will never, ever, ever be enough,” she said.
Baker set one final argument before Lucci on Wednesday, requesting “the lowest variable life sentence available” due to Weimer’s “minimal past criminal record.”
“Her involvement in this crime was very minimal compared to her son,” Baker said.
Lake County assistant prosecutor Mark Bartolotta said Weimer’s criminal history “shows a trend of disregard for the law and includes a pattern of drug and alcohol use, particularly drug use.”
“Through all the drug use, she never sought rehabilitation, and throughout this process there has been no showing of even a hint of remorse,” he said.
The only voice for Weimer came after Lucci concluded the hearing, as her youngest son, Calvin Weimer, 17, called to the judge from the back of the courtroom, asking to give his mother a final hug.
Lucci denied the request.
“Are you kidding me?” Calvin Weimer said. “Wow.”
Outside the courtroom, Eleanor’s family marveled at Weimer’s lack of remorse, even at sentencing.
“I looked at her and I wanted her to look at me,” Borton said. “I wanted to see that she was sorry for what she did, but there was no remorse there. She was smiling as she walked out of the courtroom. It made me sick.”