It was an anguished year for sensational crimes, as justice was handed out for one murder, and the process began for another.

In September, in a hushed Apalachicola courtroom, 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.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Bordt on a charge of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. But eventually  prosecutors said it made practical sense to agree to a plea deal that would see Bordt likely spend the rest of her life in prison.

“Camden told me all the time that he loved me. He also told me many times that he loved his mommy,” Dave Hiers, the boys father, told the court at sentencing.. “He was afraid of the dark and ‘monsters under the bed.’ like any child his age. I told Camden that monsters were not real… but I was wrong. Camden did need saving from a real-life monster that took his precious life from us.”

In December, the year’s only murder shocked the county, as Sandra Anne Loudermilk-Conkel, 46, of Apalachicola, admitted to shooting and stabbing her mother 68-year-old Cynthia Green on an isolated beach about 10 miles west of town, and then burying her body in a mound of debris.

Undersheriff Joel Norred said law enforcement officials interviewed several people in connection with the murder, but are not seeking other suspects in connection with the murder. “We believe she acted alone,” he said.