Tashia Stuart sentenced to 45 years in prison
A woman convicted of killing her adoptive mother in Pasco more than two years ago is sentenced to 45 years in prison today.
Tashia Stuart was sentenced after a hearing this morning in Franklin County Superior Court.
It was a very emotional hearing for family members and friends of the victim, Judy Hebert.
Some of Hebert's family and friends spoke during the hearing about the kind, selfless woman Hebert was.
But Stuart also spoke during the hearing and told a very different story.
After more than two years of hearings, trials, pain and heartache, friends and family of Judy Hebert finally have some closure.
"I think that justice was served" said Rolfe Hebert, Judy Hebert's ex-husband and Stuart's adoptive father.
This morning, Stuart was sentenced to 45 years in prison for shooting Hebert to death inside their Pasco home on March 3rd, 2011.
Some of Hebert's family and friends - who have also known Stuart for decades, spoke out during today's sentencing hearing.
They talked about Hebert's selfless way of life, and the heart-wrenching pain of losing her.
"I don't see any good reason why pieces of Judy should have ever been all over the walls of her house" said John Coffey, Hebert's best friend.
Family members also talked about the challenges of raising Stuart's now nine-year-old daughter, who was home during the murder.
"What do I say when she says that her nana was asking her for help and why couldn't she have helped her? What do I say to her when she tells me that she can't get all of nana's blood that's all over the wall out of her head?" said Nicola Hebert, Rolfe Hebert's wife.
Then, Stuart broke her silence and spoke for about ten minutes.
She tearfully maintained her innocence, continuing to say Hebert attacked her and she killed Hebert in self defense.
She said she didn't do anything wrong and she called her neighbors who testified in her trial liars.
"I wish I could change things and if necessary, I would be dead instead of my mom because then I would not have to miss her so much, and I would not have lost my family and my dad when he had taken the love of my life away from me and poisoned her against me. I would rather be dead than to never have my daughter or her love ever again. I wish I would have just let her kill me, but I didn't. I only wanted to protect my daughter from her" said Stuart.
Emotions in the court grew during Stuart's speech, especially when she accused Rolfe Hebert of mistreating her.
Rolfe Hebert actually called her a liar while she was speaking.
"Why did you ignore me when I wanted you to come and help me?" Stuart said to Rolfe Hebert.
"You're such a liar" said Hebert.
At the end of her speech, Stuart begged for a new trial.
But the judge denied that request, sending her to prison.
Now, Hebert's wounded family will try to move on, while keeping Judy's memory alive.
"She's always there. She's always there" said Rolfe Hebert.