Laura Simonson was murdered by the rogue ex-cop in 2013
An emotional Judge Pamela King choked back tears as she addressed the defendant during sentencing, reminding of the loss and pain he had inflicted the victims’ families:
“Mr. Zelich, a human life is not something to be played with,” King told the former police officer. “Laura Simonson was loved and valued by those who called her mom, sister, daughter and friend.”
‘While the 25-year prison term will never bring Simonson back or replace her,’ the judge told Zelich “you’re going to remain in prison long enough that no other woman will be harmed at your hands.”
William Wright, the public defender representing the defendant told the court his client is “very deeply remorseful” and that he pleaded guilty to avoid further traumatizing the Victim’s family.
“He takes responsibility and has cooperated throughout the process,” Wright said.
Zelich declined comment to the judge, saying his attorney “has expressed my feelings.”
He will serve the Minnesota sentence after completing his Wisconsin sentence.
Some members of the Simonsen family were unhappy that Zelich did not receive the maximum sentence of 40 years. Her daughter Sarah, called her mother’s killer “a monster.”
“While he rots in a cell, maybe he’ll realize what kind of pain and suffering he’s brought to so many people,” 18-year-old Sarah Simonson said.