BOISE -- After 31 days of trial and over 700 days in jail, Judge Darla Williamson sentenced Daniel Ehrlick today to two fixed life sentences Friday, but said that he deserves much worse.
Although this has been a very difficult case, this is not a difficult sentencing for the court, said Williamson. Society needs to be protected from him, so he needs to be incarcerated for the protection of society.
Williamson spoke candidly Friday morning as she explained why she sentenced Ehrlick the way she did.
The court has an understanding of who Mr. Ehrlick is, and how he came to be what he is, said Williamson.
Both Williamson and Prosecutor Jill Longhurst say what Ehrlick did could have been avoided.
This crime was heinous, it was senseless, it was callus and cruel, Longhurst said. This was a choice, it was not one act of rage. It was not one incident. It was escalating.
When given the right to speak, Ehrlick decided to stay quiet. His attorney Gus Cahill spoke on his behalf.
I ask the court to accept Daniel's statement to the court as well, that he definitely loved Robert, he loved AJ and he said he did not do these things, said Cahill.
For the first time, Robert's father Charles Manwill, addressed the court.
The loss to our family and to the world as a whole could never be repaid, said Manwill.
He went on to say he feels guilt for what happened to his son. Williamson told him it wasn't his fault.
You couldn't have seen this coming, Williamson said. What was done to Robert was done in private where people couldn't see what was being done.
Williamson says what she feels would be the most appropriate punishment she can't impose.
The kind of sentence that might be most appropriate for Mr. Ehrlick I can't impose, Williamson said. I can't impose a sentence that he endure the dead bug by someone that weighs five times what he weighs, to have someone drop their knees on to his abdomen. I can't impose the chair. I can't impose the wall. I can't impose the occasional aggravated battery on Mr. Ehrlick. Those things would be considered cruel punishment. The constitution prohibits me from imposing cruel and unusual punishment.
Judge Williamson spent some time listing off the ways the state of Idaho has helped and tried to rehabilitate Ehrlick over the years she said all of that effort didn't work.
She then said that rehabilitation is no longer the state s goal. She now needs to protect the society from Ehrlick. That's why he'll be locked away for the rest of his life.
Ehrlick has 42 days to appeal his convictions.