April 14, 2011
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that the Mokena teenager who stabbed his 4-year-old sister to death in 2009 has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Prosecutors asked Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak to sentence Keith T. Randulich, 19, to life in prison or to sentence him to an extended term of 60 to 100 years so that he will never walk free in society again.
Randulich used a household steak knife to slice through the throat of his 4-year-old sister, Sabrina Clement, while she was lying on her basement floor on May 22, 2009. Randulich had agreed to watch the child after fighting with his mother over her refusal to let him purchase a firearm. After retrieving a knife, he lured the little girl into the basement by saying he would paint and play with her downstairs.
Prosecutors stated at Thursday’s sentencing hearing that Sabrina cried out to her brother, “Why are you killing me?” as he sliced deeply through her neck, nearly severing her head. Randulich claimed to police after his arrest that he killed his sister to protect her because he believed another family member was abusing her, although his assertion of abuse was unsupported by any evidence.
Randulich entered a blind plea of guilty to first-degree murder in December. Prosecutors filed a motion indicating they would seek a life sentence because the crime was brutal and heinous and involved a child under 12-years-old. Her tender young age alone was a sufficient qualifying factor for an extended term of 60 to 100 years in prison. The statutory sentence for murder without the aggravating enhancements is 20 to 60 years in prison.
Randulich will be only 58 when he is released from prison.
“This was a crime of unspeakable cruelty and horror,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Sabrina Clement trusted and loved her brother unconditionally, and she suffered terror and agony at his hands in the last moments of her short life. The brutal and heartless murder of this innocent, helpless little girl demanded an enhanced sentence to guarantee this cold-blooded monster would die in prison so he would never have another opportunity to commit such an atrocity.”