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An Oregon teenager who cut the throat of his father’s girlfriend and whipped her lifeless body with a belt three years ago, was sentenced to seven years in prison this week.
A Yamhill County circuit judge sentenced Andrew Vineyard, 18, to seven years behind bars for the “sadistic sexual murder” of Kimberly Forness on Monday, the Oregonian reported.
On March 8, 2017 Vineyard slashed Forness’ throat, beat her with a pair of baseball bats, and then sexually abused her body at a home in McMinnville, Oregon. Afterwards, Vineyard, watched a Korn music video, took a bath, drank a cup of tea, and bleached the crime scene. He later turned himself in at a county courthouse, according to community newspaper the News-Register.
“Ms. Forness’s death was prolonged and it was extremely violent,” Yamhill County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Lynch said, the newspaper said.
The teen, now 18, previously confessed to the murder. Vineyard also admitted to shooting his father’s 55-year-old roommate, Ron Spiker, in the face and the hip with a pistol. Spiker, who survived, now reportedly walks with a limp, according to the Oregonian.
Since the age of 6, Vineyard had been experiencing “extremely violent thoughts,” prosecutors stated.
The murdered woman's family slammed Vineyard’s seven-year sentence in court.
“It is a shame to call what we are doing here today an action of the justice system because no one is getting justice,” Ellie Forness, one of the woman’s daughters, said, the Oregonian reported.
In a series of scathing remarks, she then directly addressed Yamhill County Judge John Collins.
“Your ruling did this,” Ellie Forness said. “Even in the best case scenario for us, Andrew will be walking the streets again after brutally murdering my mother before he reaches the age I am now.”
Vineyard will be 25 by the time he’s released.
“This is not a sentence frankly that any of us likes,” Collins said. “The court has been constrained by legal considerations that, well, frankly, may put me in the position of having to make a ruling even I didn’t like.”
The 18-year-old was tried as a juvenile. Vineyard, who was 15 at the time he murdered Forness, was originally charged as an adult but his case was later transferred to youth courts, local media reported.
In Oregon, second-degree murder convictions carry a life sentence for individuals who are at least 15 years old at the time of the killing. However, a youth sentencing reform bill, signed into state law in 2019, largely shielded the teenager from a stiffer sentence.
“Obtaining a just result within the juvenile system was impossible,” Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry told Oxygen.com. “Nothing would bring healing to the family of the victims, but at least a sense of justice would have been achieved in the adult system.”
Berry, whose office pushed for Vineyard to be charged as an adult, explained that the judge ultimately split with county prosecutors.
“We disagreed with the court’s ruling that he, the judge, could not make findings based on the presented evidence, that thoroughly supported moving [Vineyard’s] case to adult court,” he added.
Meanwhile, at his sentencing, Vineyard acknowledged he “forever damaged three families.”
“To say I am sorry is not good enough,” he said.
Forness, who grew up in Georgia and South Carolina, settled in Oregon in 1996, according to her obituary. She loved beach days, music, and spending time with her three daughters. She was 45.
Forness worked at a local toyshop. She was described as a “kind,” “giving,” and “amazing” person.
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