The victim's mother wrote a letter expressing her disgust for her daughter's killers.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A judge's decision to send William Monday of Struthers to prison for the rest of his life was an appropriate one, said a family member of the 12-year-old girl he admitted killing.
"We're satisfied with what happened so far," said Agnes Struble, grandmother of Shannon Leigh Kos of Youngstown after Monday's guilty plea and sentencing Thursday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
Monday, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, and abuse of a corpse, in exchange for a sentence of life in prison. He faced the death penalty if convicted at trial.
Other sentences: Judge J. Craig Cox sentenced Monday to life in prison for the murder and agreed to make concurrent other sentences of 10 to 20 years for the conspiracy to commit homicide and one to two years for the abuse of a corpse.
Monday will be sent to a state prison.
"I would just like to say I'm sorry to the Kos family for what happened," Monday said in court.
Shannon was killed Oct. 8, 2000, in a secluded section of Mahoning Township, Lawrence County, near a railroad bed. Her throat was slit and her body had numerous stab wounds and burns when a hiker discovered it a few days later.
Others charged: Monday, along with David Garvey, 21, and Perry Ricciardi, 22, both of Struthers, were charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy to commit rape, unlawful restraint and abuse of a corpse.
Garvey and Ricciardi are still awaiting trial. Their attorneys have said they are waiting for a judge to decide if statements Ricciardi made to police can be used at trial before considering a plea agreement.
Garvey made no statements to police.
Matthew Mangino, county district attorney, said it's unlikely Monday will be called to testify against Ricciardi and Garvey at trial.
The crime: Monday, through questioning by his attorney, said they picked up Shannon, whom Monday had known for about two months, to party in an area they called "zombie land."
Once there, Monday alleges, Ricciardi and Garvey told him they wanted to rape Shannon.
The rape attempt was unsuccessful. Monday added that Shannon was yelling at the men, saying they were all going to jail for trying to rape her.
Monday took a knife from Ricciardi and slit her throat. He said he saw that Garvey had also stabbed her.
Ricciardi's statement to police differs in that he claims Monday approached him with the plan to rape and kill Shannon and Monday had a more active role in the attempted rape.
Monday told the court he and Garvey went back to zombie land the next day to burn Shannon's body.
"We wanted to make sure there were no fingerprints so we wouldn't be under arrest," he said.
Shannon's mother, Patricia Bodnar, chose to write a letter instead of speaking during Monday's sentence. She described her daughter as a trusting child who didn't realize there were bad people in the world. She expressed her disgust for the lack of remorse shown by the men.
"Shannon just wasn't somebody Monday didn't know. He knew Shannon. That's what makes it even harder to understand. If he could do this horrible thing to someone he knew, what could he do to someone he didn't know?" Bodnar wrote.
She also wrote she was happy he was arrested quickly and that the family accepted the plea agreement in part to avoid a trial.
Judge Cox said life behind bars is appropriate for Monday.
"You not only just took the life of Shannon Kos, but you took the lives of her family with her," he told Monday. "They have to get up everyday knowing they lost a 12-year-old girl. You are going to get up the rest of the days of your life in state prison."