After hearing statements from Simmons' son and mother, and then Schleuniger himself, Judge Timothy Finan announced the sentencing. WHAG was in the court room Tuesday morning as Simmons' family clapped and cheered.
"It feels good . From where we were at in the very beginning not having a body and not knowing exactly how lisa had died, it feels very good today to finally be able to put an end to this. The family has her back, they've been able to give her a proper burial and that was a key goal of for our office from the very beginning," said Erich Bean, Assistant State's Attorney for Allegany County.
"I'm happy they did all they could. They couldn't find my mother so they had to make a bargain with him. And it is what it is but I'm happy he's getting the full 30 years and the judge did what he could and the best he could. Other than that though I'm not real happy though," said Robert Bennett, Lisa Simmons' son.As we've reported, in Schleuiger's plea agreement and confession in December he said an argument turned violent and that he slapped Simmons and dragged her into the home, where he began beating her before using a dog leash to strangle her.
Throughout the case the defense claimed that Schleuiger didn't know how it all happened and that the incident happened out of rage. The judge said he understood not knowing how it all happened, but he said Lisa was so brutally killed and with Schleuniger hiding the body and trying to get away with it, that's what made him move to sentencing the maximum 30-year sentence.
During the hearing on Tuesday, it was the first time that both Simmons' son and mother addressed the court. Lisa's son, Robert Bennett, talked about how he never got to say goodbye or how much he loved his mother. He said his mother never told them how bad it was with Schleuniger, who was a very jealous man.
"If my mother would have told us that this was happening that she had a crazy man in the house who was abusing her mentally, physically , however, we could have maybe solved it. But i mean she didn't want me to do anything because i have children and she knew i would have acted upon it. And she just didn't let us know," said Bennett.
Lisa's mother, Carol Brown, was very emotional in court and started crying as soon as she began reading her statement. She said the day Lisa went missing she knew she was murdered, and it was a mother's intuition.
Then Schleuniger addressed the court. He told the court he still loved and missed Lisa and asked the Simmons' family and his family to forgive him for his actions.
Schleuniger is currently being held at the Allegany County Detention Center.