WILKES-BARRE — A teenager will spend at least 14 years behind bars for the shooting death of his great-grandfather in Luzerne County’s back mountain.
Cody Lee was sentenced Friday morning.
Lee pleaded guilty in August to murdering his great-grandfather in 2009.
He was just 16 years old at the time and while his attorney told a judge that Lee has grown up in the past four years, the judge still ordered he be watched closely for a substantial amount of time.
Lee kept quiet as he left the Luzerne County Courthouse on his way back to prison. He pleaded guilty in August to shooting and killing his 80-year-old great-grandfather Herbert Lee at the home they shared in Dallas Township in 2009.
Investigators say he plotted out the murder in a notebook.
He’ll spend 14 to 28 years behind bars with seven years of probation.
It’s a punishment that the mother of one of Lee’s friends says is too harsh.
“He was young. We all find ourselves, have made mistakes in our lives and can certainly relate to making what is a horrible mistake,” said Rebecca Brandenburg of Dallas.
A judge threw out Lee’s case earlier this year, saying there wasn’t enough evidence. Lee was then rearrested and recharged.
At his sentencing, none of Lee’s family members spoke out.
“This was an emotional rollercoaster for them, not only for the loss of the victim, but in this case which is pretty unusual, the defendant is related,” said Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce.
Brandenburg has visited Lee in prison over the years and says he has come a long way.
“I think he ultimately shows promise, and I think he can make a lot of himself.”
Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce pushed for a long probation for Lee once he’s released from prison.
“He’s going to be incarcerated and watched very closely every day. We thought that the probation tail was going to be important for his assimilation back into society.”
Lee is locked up in Luzerne County Prison.