Kaitlyn Conley will have plenty of time to reflect on her crime.
The 24-year-old upstate New York woman has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for poisoning Mary Yoder, her former boss and ex-boyfriend’s mother, according to WKTV.
She was facing up to 25 years in prison when she appeared in Oneida County Court on Thursday and Friday.
Conley was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in November 2017.
She was initially charged with second-degree murder.
During the sentencing hearing, two of Yoder’s sisters pleaded with the judge to give Conley the highest possible sentence.
Her widow, William Yoder, and son, Adam Yoder, made the same request, according to WKTV.
William Yoder alleged that Conley “had a fight with my son…and then murdered his mother.”
He recalled his wife’s final days, which were spent suffering from vomiting episodes, diarrhea and coding in the hospital while doctors struggled to figure out what was wrong with her.
“We had to helplessly watch her die again and again. The pain of that last day will haunt me and my family for the rest of our lives,” William Yoder told the court.
Judge Michael L. Dwyer said in court it was the image of Mary Yoder’s suffering that stuck with him most of all.
“Two days may not seem like an awful long time, but if you have a ventilator down your throat and your arms and legs are strapped on the bed, they are an excruciating long time,” he shared.
For his part, Adam Yoder blamed himself for ever introducing Conley to his family.
“Make no mistake. As much as I hate her, which is more than I ever thought I would be capable of hating anyone, I hate myself infinitely more. I introduced her to my parents. And if I hadn’t done those things, my mother would still be alive,” he said.
“Since this investigation began, I have seen three psychologists and one psychiatrist. I’ve now been prescribed multiple medications for sleep, for major depression, for severe anxiety and for PTSD, all of which have been prescribed for one simple reason: self-hatred.”
While a majority of the Yoder family was in court on the behalf of their deceased love one, one of Mary Yoder’s sisters did state that she believes Conley is innocent.
“I believe she’s being wrongfully convicted; our system failed. I’ll pray you’ll show mercy,” defense attorney Janine King told the judge, according to a WKTV reporter in the court room.
Conley spoke briefly during her trial, maintaining that she hadn’t used colchicine to poison her 60-year-old employer.
Her attorneys filed an appeal to the court’s decision moments after it was filed, but said that a different lawyer would be handling the process.
“John Cirando is gonna handle the appeal. John Cerrando does nothing but appeals. I’ve known John for 35 years. He’s in Rochester on a daily basis,” Frank Policelli told the outlet.