MADRAS, Ore. - It was an emotional day at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Madras on Tuesday, at the sentencing of 25-year old Montana Silk Marlatt.
Marlatt will spend 23 years in prison without parole for the fatal shooting of 19-year old Devon Moschetti last April. He originally was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to the other charge, first-degree manslaughter, and unlawful use of a weapon.
Moschetti was with out with friends rabbit hunting when Marlatt, a brother of one of Moschetti's friends, tagged along on the Crooked River National Grasslands south of Madras.
According to witnesses, Marlatt grabbed a shotgun and asked Moschetti, "Who are you?"
Without waiting for an answer, he shot Moschetti twice, in the stomach and face.
Police records indicate Marlatt was on several drugs, including meth, and wasn't responsive when he was arrested.
"He was involved with controlled substances," said Thomas Spear, Marlatt's defense attorney. "He was under the influence of a cocktail of items when this incidents took place. His recollection and memory is imperfect."
But drugs mean little to a sister who is still grieving the loss of her brother.
"It's not an excuse," Amy Moschetti told NewsChannel 21 in a phone interview later Tuesday. "If someone made the choice to use drugs and shoot someone, they made both choices. Nobody else made it for them."
"Every day I would wake up to my brother's face. And every day I want to wake up to my brother's face. And just because Montana is in jail is not going tochange that."
During the hearing, Marlatt got up and briefly apologized to the Moschetti family, for the first time.
"I'm sorry. I'm really sorry," Marlatt said, emotionless. "I don't know what else to say."
Much too little for the loss of a brother.
"At least give some kind of remorse," Amy Moschetti said. "He didn't even have tears in his eyes when he apologized to my family."
Under the plea deal, Marlatt received the maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter, but avoided a murder charge.
District Attorney Steve Leriche said he'd feared that without the deal, he could have been out in 10 years.
"If the state had failed to proof intentional conduct, the sentencing would have been much less than what would have been received," Leriche said.
Marlatt had been in the hospital due to mental issues just 12 hours prior to the incident. His defense attorney called his release unfortunate.
To Moschetti's sister, nothing will bring her brother back.
"Everything we did, we did it together," said Amy Moschetti. "And everything we overcame, we overcame together. I love him and I still need him."
Circuit Judge Annette Hillman agreed to the sentence worked out between Marlatt, his lawyers and the DA's office.
Leriche said they agreed to the plea deal because of the concern that Marlatt might have received a lesser term if tried, as he was on drugs at the time of the killing, and due to his mental condition.
Leriche read aloud in court several statements from the victim's family into the record, including one from the victimi's father, Brad Moschetti, who expressed disgust and sadness, called Marlatt "a poor excuse for a human being" and added, "I believe Montana is in no way sorry for killing Devon."