A Mormon teenage girl has been sentenced to life in prison for killing her romantic rival in Utah. The judge in the case stated that it was "as violent a murder as I've seen in 20 years on the bench."
Reports state that 19-year-old Toni Fratto, with the help of her boyfriend 19-year-old Kody Cree Patten, had planned the murder of 16-year-old Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo. Costanzo had dated Patten at one time, and Fratto was jealous of her romantic rival.
She and Patten kidnapped Costanzo after school, killed her and buried her body in a shallow grave.
Fratto admitted to killing Costanzo by hitting her repeatedly with a shovel. Patten then slashed Costanzo's throat while Fratto sat on her legs to hold her down. The pair then buried her body near the Utah state border. Fratto was not a suspect in the case but decided to confess to her crime in exchange for a plea deal.
Had she not taken the deal, Fratto would have faced the death penalty. As it stands, she will serve a minimum of 18 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after that. Judge Daniel Papez sentenced her to the maximum penalty and told Fratto that he hoped she would "be able to get her life back in order."
"Micaela's loss to her family, to her school, to the community of Wendover will be felt forever. The attack on Micaela was brutal; it was vicious, it was violent-all shockingly so. You have to live with this forever," he said.
"I would like to apologize for my actions and the tragedy that has happened. I know what I did was wrong," Fratto said before her sentencing. "I'm sorry for what I did to Micaela and for what I did not do, protect her. It does not change what happened. But I do mean I'm sorry," the Desert News reported.