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Third teen sentenced in double murder of Hastings couple

Despite his mother's emotional plea for the court to reduce her son's time in prison, Jamie Patton, 19, East Bethel, received a prison sentence Friday of 14 1/2 years for his admitted role in the murder of a Hastings couple last October.

Patton, the third and final teen involved in the October 8, 2005, murder of Peter and Patricia Niedere, pleaded guilty May 23 to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and he admitted helping plan the couple's death with their younger son and another teenager.

Patton's plea agreement stated he could face between 12 1/2 to 14 1/2 years in prison. Patton's mother, Lisa Stanek, asked Judge Timothy McManus on Friday to issue the minimum sentence, depicting her son's childhood as one engulfed in domestic violence.

Despite Stanek's request, McManus said he issued the maximum sentence because of Patton's crime, not his character.

"What you did, and the plan you participated in was horrendous," McManus said. "That's what you're being punished for; not who you are, but your actions."

Patton testified in a pre-sentence investigation that Niedere promised him $30,000 and a car for his participation in the murder plot the teens planned for two weeks leading up to the murder.

Late on Oct. 7, Patton and Keister drove down to Hastings armed with shotguns, with the intent to murder the couple and make it look like a robbery. Patton said he intended to carry out the crime until he and Keister were scared off by motion detectors in the Niedere's backyard.

According to his testimony, Patton was asked by Niedere and Keister to participate in the murder the next day but refused because he thought they wouldn't be able to carry it out without getting caught.

Patton didn't speak

Patton chose not to speak at his hearing on Friday, but members of the Niedere family gave victim impact statements.

In the courtroom Friday, Backstrom requested the maximum sentence, citing that Patton's motive was much more clear than his co-conspirators.

"The answer to why Jamie Patton got involved was the clearest of all. In his case, it was to kill for money, and money alone."

Matthew Niedere, 18, Hastings and Clayton Keister, 18, Blaine, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and were sentenced in March to life in prison with the possibility for parole in 30 years.

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