Bordt sentenced for murdering grandson

Marianne Bordt
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM.

In a hushed Apalachicola courtroom Monday afternoon, a grieving father relived the pain of his young son’s murder, and then watched as the boy’s grandmother was sent to state prison for what will likely be the rest of her life.

Without comment beyond the detailed legal questioning, Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey sentenced 73-year-old Marianne Bordt, from Nufringen, Germany, to 21 years and six months for drowning her American-born grandson Camden Hiers, 5, in the bathtub of a St. George Island rental home on Jan. 4. 2010.

Bordt said nothing other than the necessary yeses and noes as she stood for sentencing, flanked by her public defender, Andy Thomas, and translator Michael Alsentzer. Just prior to that, throughout a slide show prepared by the boy’s father, Dave Hiers, to accompany his victim impact statement, she sat stiffly in her chair, following intently, without emotion, as heartbreaking images unfolded of the vibrant child whose brief life she ended violently.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, prosecutors sought the death penalty for Bordt on a charge of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Thomas had laid the groundwork for an insanity defense that would have argued Bordt suffered dementia and depression from a skull fracture she sustained as a 5-year-old, when the Russians bombed her childhood home of Breslau in Oct. 1944.

After the first trial date last July was scrapped, the trial was re-set for next month, but last week State Attorney Willie Meggs and Assistant State Attorney Robin Myers, who prosecuted the case, agreed to a plea deal with Public Defender Nancy Daniels. To fit the agreed-upon years, which will mean Bordt will likely be at least 90 before she could be released, the first-degree murder charge was reduced to second degree and the child abuse charge dropped.

Hiers, who has long said he and his family were not intent on seeing Bordt put to death, objected to Monday’s plea deal, preferring a 30-year-sentence. In his victim’s impact statement, he said as much.

“If she is guilty of this crime, then I want her to not be able to enjoy life - the same life she took from him - albeit a terribly unfair trade as she has mostly lived her life,” he told the court. “If she is proven guilty, I want her to be punished as no person has ever been punished – and to be able to fully realize the extent and harm of her horrible crimes.”

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