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BANGOR, Maine (AP) — As another Mother's Day approaches — the last day of 15-year-old Nichole Cable's life — her grandmother is bracing for what should be a day of celebration but what is instead an unbearable reminder of what she lost two years ago.
"I try to prepare, but there is no preparation to support this pain," Phyllis Engstrom said in a statement read by Nichole's cousin in a Maine court Friday. "It will never be the same."
Her granddaughter's killer, Kyle Dube, was sentenced to 60 years in prison after Nichole's family and friends urged the judge through tears to show him no mercy.
The prosecutor said Dube abducted Nichole to have sex with her after arranging a meeting outside her Glenburn home by posing as someone else using a fake Facebook profile. She said Dube killed her when Nichole resisted.
Nichole died from asphyxiation. Her body was found in Old Town after an eight-day search in May 2013.
Dube, 22, told others he wore a disguise in a bizarre plot in which he intended to kidnap Nichole and then return as the rescuer to find her safe and sound, police said. Instead, he found his duct-taped victim dead in the back of his father's pickup, police said.
Nichole's mother, Kristine Wiley, said Nichole's three younger sisters are filled with fear that "the bad man" will come after them, too. She described Nichole as fearless and her best friend.
"She had so many dreams. Dreams of getting her driver's license, turning sweet 16 ... She had dreams of getting married and having one child," Wiley said.
Dube's mother, Tammy Dube, tearfully described her son as a loving father to his 4-year-old daughter and asked the judge to take into consideration that he's still young. Dube stared down at the table and wiped his eyes as his mother talked. He didn't speak during the hearing.
Dube's aunt and friends said he was always willing to help when someone was in need, even strangers on the street.
A jury convicted Dube in March after deliberating for less than an hour. Prosecutors said the evidence was overwhelming. The phony Facebook profile was traced to Dube's home, and DNA evidence pointed to him. Several people also testified that Dube confessed.
The judge cited "an utter lack of remorse" in handing out Dube's sentence, saying he had the "calculating presence of mind" immediately after her killing to scrape Nichole's nails, remove her clothes and hide her body in the woods. Afterward, he picked up his girlfriend and went to bed with her, Judge Ann Murray said.
"I think this is a chillingly remorseless response to killing another human being," she said.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said the defendant's lack of contrition was a significant aggravating factor. She'd sought a sentence of 90 years — 60 years for murder and 30 years for kidnapping.
Dube got a 60-year sentence for murder and 30 years for kidnapping, to be served concurrently. Zainea said after the hearing that she was very pleased with the judge's decision.
Defense lawyer Stephen Smith sought a 45-year sentence and asked the judge to show compassion, saying that there's hope for rehabilitation and that Dube could return to society.
Smith said the sentence provides some hope that Dube could get out of prison when he's in his 70s. He said he has already filed an appeal for the conviction.
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