Nathan Paape sentenced to life for murder of 78-year-old Barbara Olson

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by Chris Patterson

SHEBOYGAN -- 14-year-old Nathan Paape has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder of 78-year-old Barbara Olson. Paape and Olson's great-grandson Antonio Barbeau killed Olson using a hammer and a hatchet.

Earlier this week, Barbeau was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 36 years. He testified against Paape in court, but pleaded guilty to avoid a trial of his own.

Barbeau told the court he used the hatchet, while Paape used the hammer in their attack on Olson. Barbeau says he was the first one to hit his great-grandmother in the back of the head, and then Pappe joined in.
 
During his testimony, Barbeau said they each struck Olson three to four times during their attack. He also told the court they tried to put his great-grandmother's body in a car truck, but were able to. Barbeau confessed to leaving Olson's body in the garage, and covering it up with a blanket.
 
Yesterday, Department of Justice Special Agent Kenneth Smith testified that Paape wrote a note to him that read, "He killed his grandma, and I was with him."
 
Agent Smith said Paape cooperated with detectives, and guided them to evidence like bloody weapons.
 
Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner Dr. Doug Kelley also took the stand in day two of the Paape trial. He said, Barbara Olson suffered more than 18 strikes to the head. "In examining the head, I felt there were at least 18 different injuries or blow. 11 of these have some evidence of blunt force and most of them also have evidence of blunt force."
 
Sheboygan Falls Police Office Nicole Schmelter showed the court evidence found at the scene of Olson's death. The court was also shown surveillance video of the boys wearing the same clothes detectives collected from the scene.
 
During the first day of testimony the jury heard from Olson's daughter, who found her body as well as Paape's mother.
 
The mandatory sentence for First Degree Intentional Homicide is life in prison, but Paape will be eligible for parole in 30 years. All convicted minors are eligible for parole.

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