Family members of murder victim Mary Escue say they got some justice Friday when teenage murder suspect Josh Mooney pleaded guilty.
Mooney pleaded guilty to shooting Escue during a burglary in December of 2012. He was 14 years old when he shot Mary Escue in the head, inside her parents' Jenks home.
Mooney turned 16 on the same day he entered the guilty plea.
In exchange for his plea, he got two life terms plus seven years, to run at the same time. That means he must serve 38 years before becoming eligible for parole.
This case has been a tragedy for two families.
Mary's parents are glad the court part of this case is finally over, after some 20 trips to this courthouse in the past 16 months. Now, they say, they can finally start to grieve for their daughter.
They are ready for this case to finally be about her - rather than the person who killed her in cold blood.
The victim's family showed up by the dozens to court to hear 16-year-old Josh Mooney plead guilty to Mary's murder, robbery and burglary. They believe the case ended with justice but do not count it as a victory - saying both families suffered a loss.
"There are no winners today," said Dick Robinson, Mary's father.
Mary was waiting for her parents to get home so they could go look at Christmas lights together when she encountered then 14-year-old Josh Mooney inside.
He had already ransacked the house, fired shots into the furniture, and smeared food on the counter. When he saw Mary, he forced her at gunpoint into the den. Even as she was begging him not to kill her, he put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.
That's how her parents found her when they got home. Yet, they choose forgiveness over bitterness.
"One of the hardest things I've come across, and I've come across a lot of things in this life, is to learn to forgive," Dick Robinson said.
"To forgive doesn't mean you have to embrace the person, doesn't mean you have to be best friends or pals. But, to forgive is really our duty."
Dick says his family will pray for Mooney and his family because they, too, are suffering. Mooney goes into prison as a teenager and will be 54 when he gets out. Mary's family has high praise for the investigators and prosecutors Doug Drummond and Steve Kunsweiler, but they still can't understand why this happened.
"It's a shame it happened," Dick said.
Dick Robinson, Mary Escue's father, entered this victim impact statement in the court record:
Mary was our 47-year-old daughter. She was married and had two sisters, a brother, three grown daughters, a grandchild and another on the way. Ours is a large family with Mary's uncles, aunts and cousins living mostly in and around Tulsa. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out and always had a smile on her face. We all loved her.
Our lives changed on the night of December 17, 2012, and will never be the same. When we arrived home that fateful night, her mother and I found Mary dead - shot and murdered. Our house had been invaded and plundered, our car and personal possessions missing, and our dogs traumatized. It was a horror scene that we never forget. Not a waking hour of our day passes without reliving the tragedy. Our dreams have become nightmares. Our sense of security has been compromised to the fullest extent. Trust in our fellow man has been seriously tested.
We know that we on earth are not the ultimate judges for the punishment of this horrendous crime - however, we know that justice must and should be served. We trust that you will make that decision in the best interests of society, so that the "Marys of the future" can live a full and safe life.