A young teen who wielded a claw hammer in a fatal attack learned her fate on Wednesday.
Scripps Ranch teenager Heather D'Aoust was 14 when her adoptive mother, Rebecca D'Aoust, was killed on May 25, 2008. Prosecutors said in court that the 56-year-old woman was struck at least 15 times with the hammer in an attack at their home fueled by a mother-daughter argument. Heather's father was also injured in the incident.
On Wednesday, Judge Michael Wellington sentenced the now-16-year-old to 16 years to life in prison.
The teen apologized in court prior to her sentence being pronounced.
"People always ask me why I did it," she said. "Honestly, I don't even know myself."
The day before the killing, Heather poured out feelings about killing her parents to a friend whom Rebecca caught having "sexual activity" with Heather in her daughter's bedroom, according to a San Diego police detective, starting a simmering mother-daughter argument.
Rebecca, a counselor at Spreckels Elementary School, died of head injuries a day after the attack.
In December, Heather pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon in December. The only person outside of attorneys to attend that hearing was her father, James D'Aoust, who has been a constant supporter of his daughter since the day of the attack, arranging for legal representation of the daughter he and his wife had adopted.
Heather was never declared mentally incompetent or insane, deputy district attorney, Rick Clabby said in December. He also said at the time that she would serve her time in a juvenile facility in Ventura County until she's 18. After that, the Dept. of Corrections will determine where she was housed.