Teen gets 179 years in prison for murders

By The Associated Press

VALPARAISO, Ind. — A northwest Indiana man convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers during a drug-related robbery was sentenced Tuesday to 179 years in prison.

A Porter County jury found Connor Kerner, 19, guilty in Octoberof charges including two counts each of murder and murder in perpetration of a robbery.

The Valparaiso man had allegedly confessed to a then-girlfriend that he had killed 18-year-old Thomas Grill of Cedar Lake and 19-year-old Molley Lanham of St. John in February 2019 in the attached garage of his maternal grandparents’ Hebron-area home.

Prosecutors said the target in the robbery that led to the killings was $20,000 to $50,000 worth of THC cartridges.

Kerner showed no obvious reaction to the sentence but said he intends to appeal, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Patricia Grill, mother of Thomas Grill, looked down at Kerner and accused him of attempting to erase her son and Lanham.

“You erased your life, Connor,” she said.

Stacy Spejewski, mother of Lanham, said she is still numb nearly two years after her daughter’s killing. “I am now the mother of a murdered child,” she said.

Kerner declined to comment before sentencing, but said he intends to appeal.

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