Yakima, WASH-- Convicted murderer Clayton Stafford was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree aggravated murder Thursday afternoon. 16 years after the murder and rape of Shawna Yandell, he will pay the price.
The courtroom scene was tense. 16 years after the murder and rape of Shawna Yandell, Clayton Stafford will pay the price.
The family of Shawna Yandell watched the sentencing from Arkansas via Skype. They had words for Stafford. Her grandmother said she was sorry he wasn't getting the death penalty. Shannon, her sister showed family pictures and told Stafford he robbed the family of Shawna.
"For 16 years my family had to deal with the facts of what happened to my sister. Now we have a face to go with it. Its so much more satisfying than I ever thought it would be", Shannon Yandell Jones told KNDO.
She remembers Shawna Yandell as a bubbly blonde who was popular and loved to fish.
Stafford also spoke to the family, telling them Shawna's killer was still on the loose.
Today's sentencing didn't just bring closure to Shawna's family. Lt. Wentz of the Yakima Police Department has been assigned to this case since 1993. He worked with the prosecution throughout the trial.
Clayton Stafford's attorney has already filed an appeal. Stafford says he will continue fighting the verdict.