Kedrowitz sentenced to 100 years
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
“The Indiana State Police has been with us riding shotgun since May 1, 2017 with this investigation. Without that kind of dedication you don’t get a 100-year sentence on a kid killer,” noted Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel.
Nickalas James Kedrowitz, 18, will now spend the rest of his life behind bars. The decision of Judge Ryan King was that the defendant deserved 50 years , to be served consecutive, for each of the murders he committed nearly five years ago in an Osgood home. Two children, under the age of three, were senselessly smothered to death by the then 13-year-old, who was their half-brother.
“No remorse. He murdered two people with no remorse,” Judge King said just before bringing down a hefty sentence to the teenager. He said throughout all of the proceedings there was never a time that the defendant showed that he cared at all about what he had done. Rather, Kedrowitz concealed the fact he had murdered the first child, lied, and killed another one just 81 days later. There was no expression of him being upset. “That to me – it’s surprising,” Judge King commented.
The Judge went on to say the deaths of the children was malicious. He said to smother a child by holding an object over them while they struggled was “telling”.
At the beginning of the sentencing hearing held Tuesday in Ripley County Circuit Court, the defense presented another witness, a doctor, who had also testified at trial. This time via a zoom call, the doctor talked for nearly two hours about how tragic Kedrowitz’s life had been before he killed the children.
As both the biological father and mother of Kedrowitz sat in the courtroom the clinical psychologist from Virginia testified that there was evidence the defendant had been abused by both of them and sexually abused by his own father. He has sustained physical, sexual and neglect situations throughout his childhood, which led the doctor to believe he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The expert witness thought the defendant was at low risk for future violence.
The prosecutor nor the judge agreed with the doctor. The Judge said there were nine different doctors who have assessed Kedrowitz and they all had differing opinions.
The bottom line remained that the defendant had taken two lives with his bare hands – the lives of the very children he was often in charge of providing care for.
A well-written two-and-a-half page letter from Gary McCartney, father of Desiree McCartney, one of the children killed, was heard at the hearing. The impactful letter made a difference as the Judge gave weight to what was said.
The letter in part read, “May 1, 2017, is a day that I will never be able to erase from my mind…I will never forget what I am about to share after the helicopter touched down to transport Desiree. One of the Lifeline Staff shines her pen light into Desiree’s eyes. Her eyes never responded to the light. I knew then she would not survive the brutal trauma inflicted upon my 24-month-old daughter. I was in shock and praying to the Lord for a miracle that she would be okay and able to go home.”
McCartney shared that his older daughter asked, “What is wrong Daddy?” The hospital had made a teddy bear with Desiree’s heartbeat sound. He explained to his now teenage daughter that her little sister had passed away.
Eventually McCartney would find out that his youngest daughter had fallen prey to Kedrowitz, while he was caring for her. The question of why the defendant murdered was never answered. “Why did he kill my sister, my only sister?” a little girl asked over and over, but there are no answers.
The letter continued, “As a big brother you had a responsibility to keep your sister/brother safe, show them love and support. You failed your job. As you sit in prison remember that you obviously had no feeling or love for Desiree or your half-brother.”
Judge King agreed with the letter with that section being highlighted as a true aggravating factor in the case that will have a small town wondering how a boy could do such things for years to come.
In a press conference after the hearing, Prosecutor Ric Hertel said he wasn’t impressed with the doctor’s testimony and couldn’t understand how someone from Virginia could “sit in his ivory tower” and know what was going on in Ripley County. He was thankful for the sentence that he felt was merited. He said the community rallied around Desiree’s dad and had less sympathy for the mother who failed the children. He went on to say the Department of Child Services could have done more and needs to be reworked.