DeShawn Gleaton sentenced to life in prison for murder of Hailey Christiansen
MADISON, Neb. -- DeShawn Gleaton will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Gleaton was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. He is also sentenced to 25 - 30 years on a count of possession of a firearm by a felon; 40-50 years for use of a firearm to commit a felony; and one to two years for witness tampering. There is no bond. He is given 415 days credit on the first count for time already served. A charge of first-degree assault was vacated and noted as included in murder.
The victim's family testified for the last time Thursday, at sentencing.
"This is Hailey, this is who she was, she's not just a paper she's a person who lost her life," said Hailey Christiansen’s mother to Judge James Kube in Madison County District Court. "This is affecting her little boy. He's 7. He has questions. He wants to know why this happens to his mommy. He specifically asked why did this happen to my mom, I thought he liked her? I don't know. 'Well he was in jail how did he get out?' And when we tell him he's in jail, he's like, 'well he's going to get out,' [...] now we have to assure him he is in a safe world. There is a lot of questions I can't answer."
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith argued that Gleaton had a history of domestic violence and was not remorseful. But defense attorney Todd Lancaster said he'd advised Gleaton not to show emotions and to stay silent during the trial. But, Gleaton finally spoke, Thursday.
"To say I'm not remorseful just because I'm not crying, just because there aren't tears? They're all dried up," Gleaton said. He continued that he feels for Christiansen's son -- as he has two kids -- and hasn't yet told his ten-year-old daughter that he's been in jail for years now. But, he says, crying wouldn't help.
"I can't say nothing to change your mind, I can't say nothing to change their mind," Gleaton said. "I get questions like why didn't you turn yourself in. If you were a Black man in 2020 would you turn yourself into the police?' [...] The police should have done a better job at investigating this, it was all word of mouth."
"You say a lot of what the prosecution has was word of mouth -- the biggest word of mouth was your words, what you said on that video [...] I can't help but think you feel bad because of the situation you're in -- not the situation you caused. I feel sorry for your daughter," Kube responded.