The teenager convicted for the beating death an 84-year-old Mishawaka woman, who fled to Africa has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.
That sentence is not a surprise to those who sat in court Thursday, but his claim of self defense is.
William Karimu, 19, pleaded guilty to beating and stabbing Lois Hickey to death in December of 2011.
WSBT's Kristin Bien was in court Thursday morning.
Detectives in this case say they were shocked to hear Karimu say he was defending himself. As we left the courtroom, many of the detectives were very vocal about his self defense claim – especially since the 84-year-old woman was badly beaten and stabbed.
"I could have took the situation better, but she did attack me first," Karimu said in court.
"You broke into her home and it was self defense? You don’t understand the law very well...she was an 84-year-old woman," Judge Jane Woodward Miller replied.
In December 2011, Lois Hickey was found beaten and stabbed in her Mishawaka home. In court Thursday, the prosecutor said she had been stabbed with her own scissors and had fractured cheek bones from being beaten.
Police say he broke into her home.
The prosecutor called this one of the worst murders he had ever seen. That is why it was such a shock when Karimu said she attacked him first.
“That is just ridiculous,” said Det. Dave Wells with St. Joseph County Metro Homicide. “How do you break into an elderly woman's house, beat her to death, and claim that you were protecting yourself? That is just ridiculous.”
“This wasn't a decision like turning left instead of right,” said Ken Cotter, chief deputy prosecutor. “That you are speeding and Oh, I made a mistake here. This was a repeated beating and a repeated stabbing.”