'Follower' Who Shot Tied-Up Couple Slammed With 90 Years In Prison
The last of four charged with shooting a man and woman after tying them up in a robbery took a 90-year sentence.
Lauren Vasilakis stared at the man who shot her and remembered what he said before pulling the trigger.
"You told me you'd walk out there and never think about me again, Vasilakis told 20-year-old Matthew Edwards.
"I promise, you'll remember me the rest of your life," Vasilakis said.
The rest of Edwards' life will be spent in prison, unless he manages to reach the age of 101.
Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak sentenced the Joliet man to 90 years in the Department of Corrections for murder and attempted murder. Edwards was found guilty of the charges in December.
Edwards shot both Vasilakis, 23 and Joshua Terdic in July 2009. He broke into Terdic's apartment and put a bullet in the Channahon man's head. Terdic, who was 21 at the time, died 10 days later.
"I never knew what it was like to look into the eyes of a human being who was truly wicked," Vasilakis said during Edwards' sentencing hearing Wednesday morning.
Three other defendants have already been convicted and sentenced in connection with the murder and home invasion. Jason Orasco, 29, of Channahon got 75 years in prison, and Ashley Hill, 21, of Joliet, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Hill had pleaded guilty to home invasion and testified against a fourth defendant, Mary Vetor, 27, of Joliet, who hatched the plan to steal money and drugs from Terdic. Vetor drove Edwards and Orasco to Terdic’s apartment and supplied the weapons—a gun and a baseball bat. Vetor was sentenced to 61 years in prison.
Edwards is the final defendant to be convicted and sentenced. The 90 years he got wasn't enough for Vasilakis.
"I know that whatever sentence he receives today will not be sufficient," she said. "As much time as he may spend behind bars, and as much as he may suffer for the remainder of his life, he will never know the pain he has inflicted on me. He will never know what it was like to be at the other end of that gun barrel. He will never be forced to beg for his life. He will never witness the person he loves being taken from this world."
Edwards declined to take an opportunity to speak prior to his sentencing.
With good time credit applied to his attempted murder sentence, and including the time he spent in the county jail following his arrest, Edwards could be up for parole in July 2093.
Even though Edwards was the one who pulled the trigger on Terdic and Vasilakis, his attorney, Todd Lenzie, said Edwards was merely a "follower" acting at the behest of Orasco.
"Matt's just basically a follower," Lenzie said, telling how Edwards, who was 17 at the time of the killing, cooperated with detectives. Lenzie also said Edwards is bipolar and suffers from ADHD and depression.