The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 21, 2012

Victim's family reacts to verdict

Star Beacon

PAINESVILLE — Every Thanksgiving for the rest of his life, Zach Borton will remember the taste of his grandmother’s pumpkin pie.

Eleanor Robertson’s family will gather on Thursday with plenty of tears in their eyes and memories in their hearts as they spend their first holiday without her.

The 77-year-old Madison Township woman was stabbed 94 times by Zachary Weimer on June 13. He and his mother, Danna Weimer, have been found guilty of her death, dousing her body with chemicals, robbing her house of valuables and taking her mini van.

Danna will be sentenced on Dec. 12, and Zachary faces life in prison at his sentencing on Dec. 17, court records show.

Eleanor’s son, Scot Robertson, said he breathed a huge sigh of relief as Judge Vincent Culotta read the verdict against Zachary Weimer.

“It was amazing because (Weimer) had no reaction,” Scot Robertson said. “He had no reaction, just like his mother when they read her verdict.”

Eleanor’s daughter, Penny Borton, said she had often thought of asking her mother to come live with her in Clinton, but felt Eleanor’s Madison Township neighborhood was a safe place.

“I never, ever thought something like this would happen in that neighborhood,” she said.

Madison resident Brenda Peters said she is happy to have justice for her friend, no matter how hard it was to hear the testimony.

“When the coroner took the stand, those details were so disturbing,” she said. “To know that (Eleanor) didn’t die quick, to know that she actually suffered hurts me the most.”

In the immediate emotional aftermath of the trial and verdict, the Robertsons and Bortons spent a few minutes thinking about Thanksgiving, working out who will make each dish — the ambrosia salad, potato salad, and the pumpkin pie — and who will come closest to getting Eleanor’s recipes just right.

“I’ll make the sweet potatoes,” Scot Robertson said. “I make them right — just like she made them.”