Three teenage girls have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the brutal murder of a 73-year-old woman who was dragged alongside her own vehicle during an attempted carjacking.
Linda Frickey, who was well known in the local community, died of blunt force trauma following the incident that occurred in New Orleans on March 21, 2022.
Frikki became entangled in a seat belt as the carjackers drove away in her car. She was dragged away while neighbors watched helplessly.
Local media reported that the three teenagers pleaded guilty to reduced charges on Monday, ahead of trial. A fourth suspect, an 18-year-old man, still faces a charge of second-degree murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors argued the man was behind the wheel of the car when Frickey died. The charge of second-degree murder carries a possible sentence of life in prison.
Two of the three defendants who pleaded guilty made statements at their sentencing, apologizing to the Frickey family and asking for forgiveness.
According The New Orleans Advocateone of the trio broke down in tears, telling the family, “This is not what we wanted to do… and I hope you can all forgive me.”
Reading from a written statement, the other girl called the incident “the worst decision of my life”.
“I wish I could go back and change the outcome. [Frickey] she looked such a nice lady,” he said, according to the NOLA news outlet.
Outside court after their sentencing, Frickey's sister, Jinny Frickey, said she was “relieved” after the hearing.
“When they said they were sorry, I'm sure they were,” she said. “Because you go back, in hindsight, many times, you regret the actions you completed. But you did.
“And, unfortunately, they did and they have to serve time.”
The prosecutor's office said it would not comment until the case is over, but praised Frickey's family's “remarkable grace” in response to the defendant's statements.
“Our hearts and unwavering support continue to be with the Frickey family as we fight for justice and pursue a resolution that honors Linda's memory.”
“I think they were really sincere in their apology and we appreciate that they admitted their guilt and accepted their punishment and I hope as time goes on, everyone can heal,” added Frickey's sister-in-law, Kathy Richard.
However, Ms Richard added that the fourth defendant, who will go on trial next week, deserved “no mercy” – saying the family wanted the man to get “the maximum”.