Wall Sentenced to 26 Years
UPDATED 5:20 p.m. WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014
PERRY CO. -- A Perry County woman has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for her role in the 2010 murder of her half-sister.
Dakota Wall was sentenced Wednesday in Perry County court.
Wall pleaded guilty in April to one count of home invasion by accountability in the death of 15-year-old Sidnee Stephens. Stephens' body was found in Beaucoup Creek in July 2010. Authorities said the 15-year-old had been shot and strangled.
Wall is the fourth person to be sentenced in the case, but she's the only one that's part of the victim's own family. On Wednesday, there were tears from her relatives and Wall herself.
Dakota Wall left her home in July 2010 and unlocked the doors. She knew that a group of teens would be breaking in to reach her half-sister. However, Wall's defense attorney repeated on Wednesday that she only thought the boys would scare Stephens.
The teens choked Stephens. When the 15-year-old came to and cried for help, they choked her a second time. They then dumped her body in the Beacoup Creek. She wouldn't be discovered until nearly a week later.
Perry County State's Attorney David Stanton argued on Wednesday morning that Wall deserved a 30-year sentence. He spoke about her knowing what had happened to a member of her own family and not telling anyone.
However, Wall's defense fought back. He argued that she was terrified of the other teens and is only guilty of turning a lock. He asked for a six-year sentence.
Judge James Campanella decided on 26 years. He pointed out that is was one of the first times he'd seen Wall show any emotion.
Perry County Sheriff Keith Kellerman was satisfied with the sentence, and feels the crime has been tragic for Pinckneyville.
"Not only did we lose a life of one individual, that was Sidnee Stephens, we also lost the life of four other young individuals in this community," said Kellerman.
James Glazier, Robbie Mueller, and Carl Dane have been convicted for Stephens' murder. Glazier and Mueller are currently in prison. Dane killed himself in 2011.
A statement of facts released in April said Wall purposely left a door unlocked at the home she shared with Stephens, allowing three others -- Carl Dane, James Glazier and Robbie Mueller -- to enter and choke Stephens until she passed out.
Wall was convicted once before for obstructing a peace officer in this case.
Since her half-sister's 2010 murder, Wall has also given birth to a baby girl. That child is now a year old. Wall has been in jail a total of 884 days. She is being given credit for that time served.
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