Wichita A 51-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to life without parole for killing a pregnant 14-year-old girl.
A jury in May convicted Ted Burnett of aggravated kidnapping and capital murder in the strangulation of Chelsea Brooks in 2006.
Brooks was nine months pregnant when the father of the baby allegedly paid Burnett $500 to have her killed.
Brooks' family members, including her mother, father and sister, addressed the court Wednesday, sharing memories of Chelsea and the impact her murder had on their lives.
"How has this affected our family?" Chelsea's mother, Terri Brooks asked. "We, too, are serving life without parole."
Darren Brooks, Chelsea's father, told Burnett, "I forgive you for what you did to us. It's now between you and God."
Burnett told the court he was innocent, banging on the pedestal as he spoke to Judge Ben Burgess.
"I've been an addict the better part of my life. I never, ever have done anything to harm anyone," he said.
Mark Manna, Burnett's public defender, said the defense planned to file an appeal.
Everett Gentry, 19, has testified that Elgin Ray Robinson Jr. planned to kill the teen because she carried his child, and Robinson feared her parents would charge him with statutory rape. Gentry was the prosecution's key witness.
Gentry said he was driving the car when Burnett strangled Chelsea.
The girl disappeared from a skating rink on June 9, 2006. Her body was found six days later in a shallow grave in a Butler County wheat field.
Gentry, then 17, pleaded guilty on July 14, 2006, to murder. Since he was a juvenile at the time, he avoided the death penalty and will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
Robinson is scheduled for trial in September.