A man found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend three years ago in Springfield has been sentenced to life in prison.
Family members of Kathryn Mauke, the teenaged victim in this case, said Thursday they are feeling relief today.
The Maukes looked on as a judge sentenced Nickolas Lacrosse, 23, to life in prison without the possibility of parole after he was found guilty of murdering Mauke, then 17, by stabbing her more than 30 times.
“He will never be a free man again and that’s what really gives us the most relief here," said Mariah Mauke, Kathryn's sister.
Kathryn, called Kate by her family, stayed home sick from school the day she was brutally murdered.
In an incredibly moving victim impact statement, her sister, Mariah, remembered that afternoon in 2015.
“Over three years ago on February 11, my only worry in the world was whether or not my big sister was gonna let me watch TV when I came home from school that day, but when I got home, I found my sister not in front of the TV, but murdered on the kitchen floor," Mariah Mauke explained.
Mariah told Western Mass News that today was her last chance to get closure in the courtroom, where they’ve been for every hearing over the last three years.
“We’re going to live on our lives just like Kate would want us to," Mariah Mauke noted.
Jennifer Mauke, Kathryn's mother, described the ways in which she and her daughters will do just that.
“We now are going to move forward and celebrate Kate through our organization and bring awareness to break-up violence and social media awareness," Jennifer Mauke said.
Jennifer Mauke told Western Mass News that Lacrosse knew Kate was home sick that day because of Snapchat.
“I need to make sure that parents understand that they need to dig deeper and ask additional questions," Jennifer Mauke added.
Jennifer Mauke noted that there weren’t any warning signs before the horrific murder.
“If I weren’t in the situation that I’m in today and have been for the last three and a half years, I wouldn’t have known to ask them either," Jennifer Mauke said.
Kate’s two sister told us they will continue to use their sister’s memory to propel them forward in life and are comforted slightly knowing her murderer will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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