Emotions ran high outside an Indiana courtroom Thursday afternoon after Dustin McCowan, the man convicted last month of killing his ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
His family vowed to appeal.
"I'm his mother. The fact is, he's innocent and we will appeal," a defiant Jame Tome told reporters outside the Porter County Courthouse.
By contrast, McCowan, 20, was stoic as Judge William Alexa handed down the sentence for his role in the September 2011 shooting death of Amanda Bach. Earlier, he'd declined to make a statement to the court.
I don’t think the court deserves it, your honor,” he said.
Amanda Bach's parents said the sentence was bittersweet.
"I guess what we would like would be life without parole. I mean, he doesn't deserve to talk the streets," said Bach's father, William Bach. "He'll be younger than me when he gets out of prison."
Bach's body was found in a wooded area near McCowan's home in Union Township three days after the 19-year-old disappeared.
Despite the conviction and sentencing, investigators say their work in the case isn't over. Prosecutors said they area looking into the possibility that McCowan's family tried to protect him by hiding evidence. It's an allegation McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, denies.
"Everybody has their own opinions," Elliot McCowan said as he walked away from the courthouse.
In her remarks, deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said Dustin McCowan is a product of his environment and of those with whom he lives.