A Maine teenager who strangled his mother to death after she confronted him about stealing her marijuana was sentenced to 33 years in prison on Thursday.
Lukas Mironovas, 16, previously pleaded guilty to murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the death of his mother, 47-year-old Kimberly Mironovas.
Prosecutors argued Lukas and his two friends — William Smith, then 15, and Thomas Severance, then 13 — hatched the murder plot after she accused them of stealing her marijuana, according to Maine newspaper the Kennebec Journal. When Kimberly threatened to not give Smith and Severance a ride back to their homes in Massachusetts, the three teens schemed to crush up some of Lukas' medication and mix it into her wine, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
They tested out the concoction later that day, but it did not dilute properly. So, they decided to choke and stab Kimberly to death, said the affidavit.
At around 12:15 a.m. on April 22, 2018, Lukas and Smith entered Kimberly’s bedroom, and Severance stayed downstairs. The then 15-year-old told police he got onto his mother’s bed, raised her head and put his arm around her neck, choking her.
When Kimberly woke up and began to struggle, Lukas told investigators that he got her onto the floor, and then he and Smith put their forearms on her neck.
Smith, however, claimed to only participate for about 10 to 15 seconds before “Lukas took over," according to the affidavit. Lukas eventually put his hand over his mother's mouth and stabbed her twice in the neck with a knife he took from the kitchen.
Lukas and Smith cleaned the knife used to kill Kimberly, and the three then grabbed their bags — which included an Xbox, a bong and the rest of the dead woman’s marijuana — and fled in Kimberly’s car. A Maine state trooper pulled the teens over a short time later driving slowly down a dirt road with the lights off.
At first, the trio tried to mislead police into believing Kimberly had been killed by an unknown intruder during a botched home invasion, but they later confessed to the murder.
Investigators found Kimberly deceased on the bedroom floor with the knife on the bed. They also retrieved a note in the kitchen “written in pencil that referenced the stabbing,” said the affidavit.
Severance told authorities that Smith had been the driving force behind the killing, and Lukas' lawyer called Smith the “ringleader” in Kimberly’s murder.
“He convinced Lukas that this is what they needed to do,” Pamela Ames told Oxygen.com.
She also called her client’s 33-year prison sentence “devastating.”
“It’s sad all the way around,” Ames added.
Despite the conviction, Lukas’ family continues to stand by his side.
“He’s been part of our lives — you just don’t shut something like that off,” Lukas’ grandmother and Kimberly’s mother, Jeannette Hutchins, told Oxygen.com.
“We’ve lost two really because he’s in prison for 33 years at 15 years old," Hutchins said. "You don’t ever picture that life for a grandchild of yours. It’s hard both ways. It’s hard to deal with. You just take one day at a time."
"[O]ne thing is clear, we love both Kimberly and Lukas with all our heart,” Beth Hutchins, Kimberly’s sister, wrote in a victim impact statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
The family said Lukas, who is on the autism spectrum, experienced mental health issues at a young age, which left him “isolated” in school and at home.
“I knew he had been struggling for years with mental health issues and our family wanted him to know that despite his condition, he was loved and accepted no matter what," Beth wrote. "But our love wasn't enough.”
Jeannette, who spent time with her grandson nearly every weekend, claimed Smith and Severance pressured him to carry out the killing.
“He wasn’t a leader, he was a follower,” she told Oxygen.com. “I think that he wanted friends so bad, he felt like he was labeled because he did to special schools. And he just wanted friends so bad that he would do anything to get friends. And I think when those two boys, he followed.”
Severance pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and will remain incarcerated in Longcreek Youth Development Center until the age of 21. Smith also pleaded guilty to murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 28 years behind bars, reported the Kennebec Journal.
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