By Ian Bush
CLAYTON, N.J. (CBS) — Family and friends of a murdered 12-year-old Gloucester County, NJ girl continued their call this year for “Justice for Autumn.”
Autumn Pasquale’s parents pressed for a strong sentence for the 16-year-old neighbor who admitted strangling their daughter to death.
“I love that lame excuse, ‘Well, we can’t bring Autumn back, we need closure,’ ” said Autumn’s mother outside the Gloucester County courthouse. “No. We need justice.”
The parents told the judge why Justin Robinson should get more than the maximum guideline sentence after admitting to killing their daughter.
“My baby, one of the loves of my life, was found dead in a recycle bin, as if her life has no value. As as if she were trash,” Autumn’s father, Anthony Pasquale, testified.
Robinson was sentenced to 17 years in prison (see related story), part of a plea deal with prosecutors that included a guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter in the 2012 death of the Clayton, NJ girl for her bicycle (another related story).
“Why did your kid do this to my kid?” Anthony Pasquale asked rhetorically, filing a civil suit against the Robinsons.
Autumn’s grandmother, Mary, seeks a different kind of comfort:
“She’s an angel. Her spirit lives in each and every one of these people.”