Updated 05/09/2012 07:05 PM
Stephen Shand pleads guilty to Kathryn Filiberti's murder
The Hyde Park man accused of killing Kathryn Filiberti pleads guilty just two weeks before his trial was set to begin. YNN's John Wagner has the story.
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HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- One year, one month and 20 days after an 18-year-old Hyde Park girl was found dead, Kathryn Filiberti's killer admits publicly what he did, pleading guilty to first degree murder and predatory sexual assault.
"It's over for the Filiberti family," said Edward T. McLoughlin, a Dutchess County senior assistant district attorney. "They don't have to worry about a trial. They don't have to hear the terrible facts. They don't have to worry that he'll appeal and come back."
For his plea and for waving his right to appeal, Stephen Shand, 24, will be sentenced to 40 years to life.
"Effectively it's a life sentence for him," said McLoughlin. "He's not eligible for parole until at least 40 years and no one believes he'd actually be given parole."
Dutchess County District Attorney's say DNA played the key role in linking the newspaper deliveryman with Filiberti, who they believe was a complete stranger. On Wednesday, Shand acknowledged in court, in front of his family, and in front of Filiberti's, the grisly details.
"He picked Katy up and kept her in the van, that he forcibly raped her and injured her and then intentionally killed her and left her where he did," said McLoughlin.
Filiberti's body was found in Greentree Park back in March of 2011. Her family said in a statement that they hope the guilty plea marks the beginning of a focus on Kate's life and her wonderful spirit, and also end the focus on her murderer.
"The family was very pleased that we have this just and fair resolution. As pleased as you can be in a horrific situation as this," said McLoughlin.
Stephen's attorney said that Shand's family are decent, religious people. They're very upset and distraught, grieving in their own way. Former Hyde Park Chief of Police Charles Broe met with the Filiberti family Wednesday, but he will wait to comment until the June 21st sentencing.
"At the end of the day," continued McLoughlin, "the sentence, the investigation are positives in an otherwise terrible, terrible situation.