Teen's Mother Tearfully Confronts the Half-Brother Who Murdered Her: 'He Doesn't Deserve a Second Chance'

"I don't know what possessed you to take her life the way you did," Stacey Hilton said in court

McKenna HiltonCredit: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

A Michigan mother whose teenage daughter was murdered by her half-brother last year spoke out against her killer at his sentencing this week, telling him she hopes he leaves prison “in a body bag,” according to multiple news reports.

In court on Monday, 17-year-old Savon Schmus was sentenced to 40 to 100 years in prison for the murder of his half-sister, 18-year-old McKenna Hilton, on Aug. 18, 2016, the Associated Press reports.

Schmus pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder, according to local TV station WOOD.

In exchange, prosecutors did not seek a sentence of life in prison without parole, citing a 2012 Supreme Court decision which found no-parole sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional except in rare cases.

While addressing the court at the sentencing hearing this week, Stacey Hilton, McKenna’s mother, tearfully addressed her dead daughter, according to MLive.com, WOOD and the AP.

“To my daughter, McKenna, I want to say I love you and I always will love you, we all love you and we miss you so very much. And I’m so proud of you for who you were becoming and I know that who you would have been would have been so wonderful, and I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there that day to protect you,” Stacey said. “You were my only baby, and you’re always going to be my only baby and I love you very much.”

“To Savon: I hate you. I will never forgive you,” Stacey said, continuing to cry. “McKenna did nothing to you to deserve what you did to her.” (PEOPLE’s calls to the district attorney and to Schmus’ lawyer were not immediately returned.)

“McKenna considered you to be your brother … I hope when you go to prison, you get exactly what you deserve,” Stacey continued. “And I hate to say it — maybe I don’t — but I hope that when you come out of prison, it’s not on your two feet. I hope it’s in a body bag.”

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Schmus confessed to strangling McKenna at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, apartment where they lived with their father, David Schmus, Lt. Ron Gates of the Kent County, Michigan, Sheriff’s Department previously told PEOPLE.

While authorities have indicated that a motive was known, one has reportedly not been released.

After strangling Mckenna, Schmus dumped her body in a wooded area where it was found by a dog walker the same day as her death. Schmus was charged as an adult with open murder less than a week later.

“There is no question this was a particularly heinous crime. Strangling his half-sister to death was completely unprovoked and without justification,” prosecutor Chris Becker said in a statement last month about Schmus’ plea.

Schmus had no prior criminal history before his sister’s slaying.

In court on Monday, his lawyer, Charles Clapp, told the court he had no explanation for his client’s “senseless, tragic … reprehensible act” but said he is “truly remorseful,” according to MLive.com.

Stacey Hilton said otherwise, WOOD reports.

“There’s really nothing to say to Savon,” she said. “As much as they say that he’s remorseful, he’s not. I’ve dealt with him enough to know he’s not. So there’s nothing more to say to him, that’s over, and I just hope people remember McKenna and do good for her, because she would have done wonderful things and we want to honor her. And we want to continue to honor her and make sure her memory stays alive.”

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Woman Dead-Woods
Neil Blake/Grand rapids Press-MLive.com/AP

“I don’t know what possessed you to take her life the way you did,” Stacey said in court.

“He doesn’t deserve a second chance,” she told the judge. “McKenna doesn’t get one, we don’t get one. He doesn’t deserve one.”

Schmus did not speak at his sentencing, but his father read a Bible verse, Corinthians 13:7, according to WOOD. He cried as his son’s sentence was announced.

MLive.com reports that McKenna’s family is setting up a memorial scholarship fund in her name at her alma mater, East Kentwood High School, for students who have a positive impact on others.

“She cared about others and what she could do to build people up,” her aunt said, according to MLive.com. “McKenna is everything you’re not, Savon.”

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