UPDATE: Rachel Shoaf sentenced to 30 years in prison. More from emotional sentencing coming up at wvmetronews.com.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The second teenager convicted in the murder of Star City resident Skylar Neese is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning in Monongalia County Circuit Court.
Rachel Shoaf, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last May in the death of Neese. The prosecution will recommend a 20-year sentence, while the defense will request Shoaf be sentenced as a juvenile, which would likely mean a lighter penalty.
As part of the plea agreement, Shoaf had agreed to testify against Shelia Eddy, 18, at trial. Last month, Eddy pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
An honor student at University High, Neese disappeared July 6, 2012, after sneaking out the bedroom window of her parent’s apartment in Star City to meet up with Eddy and Shoaf. When she did not return home and failed to show up at her job at Wendy’s the next day, authorities presumed Neese had run away. However, her parents immediately suspected foul play.
Authorities claim Eddy and Shoaf drove Neese to Greene County, Pa., about 30 miles west of Morgantown, where they coordinated the fatal stabbing with kitchen knives and tried to bury her body. Instead, they covered Neese’s body with branches in a ditch, where it remained undiscovered until Shoaf led police back to the scene seven months later.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.