JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy who killed his grandmother and buried her body in his father’s backyard apologized to his parents, his siblings and to Kristina French, the woman he killed two years ago during the final day of his sentencing hearing.
In court Wednesday, Logan Mott said he loved his paternal grandmother and described her as funny, kind and optimistic, calling her his friend, mentor and refuge.
“It feels like a bad dream, but every morning when I wake up I realize what I did and the consequences of it,” Mott said. “This is entirely my fault and even though I don’t understand why I did this, I will always be more ashamed and sorry for what I’ve done."
Mott was emotional at certain points, with a few moments of silence as he collected himself before reading on. He said that if it weren’t for his grandmother, he might not be there today.
“The fact she’s gone still leaves me confused and baffled at times,” Mott said. "The world is a darker place without her presence, her tenacity and her kindness. I once heard my grandmother described as a guardian angel. I don’t believe in angels, but if they do exist, no doubt my grandmother is one of them.”
Mott was 15 years old when he was charged with second-degree murder in the 2017 death of French. As part of a plea deal, he’s facing between 15 and 40 years in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Bruce Anderson -- set for Dec. 19.
Under the terms of his plea, Mott can serve his sentence in a juvenile facility until he's 21. He will then be transferred to an adult facility to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Prosecutors argued for the maximum sentence. The defense is asking for the minimum.
During Friday’s hearing, Logan’s father, Eric Mott also the judge for the minimum sentence on behalf of his mother.
“My mom loved Logan more than anything and I know she’d want me to get Logan help and help him have a chance, live some kind of productive life,” Eric Mott said. “Locking Logan away for an extended period of time would be like killing my mom all over again.”
During a multi-day sentencing hearing last month, the teen’s mother, Carrie Mott, said he adored and respected his grandmother.
"She was like a breath of fresh air. She protected him, and she was his advocate and his champion,” Carrie Mott said.
A psychologist also testified about the trauma Logan Mott faced throughout his life and how it affected his development and mental health. She said the teen was “living in a battleground” that affected his self-esteem.
A school nurse testified about helping Logan Mott manage his diabetes, saying when his blood sugar is low or high “he's here, but he isn't here. It's almost like he's in another place” mentally.
French, who had been taking care of Mott while his father was on vacation, was found buried in a shallow grave in her son’s Neptune Beach yard Nov. 24, 2017, the same day Mott was stopped at the Canadian border driving French’s car with three guns and a bloody knife.
According to the Medical Examiner’s report, the autopsy found French died of a gunshot wound to the head. She also had a series of stab wounds on her head, shoulder, and both hands.
Court records from August show evidence surfaced against the teen suggesting he was suicidal, had a drinking problem and was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend.