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  • Pasztor

  • Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker, left, talks to reporters after Amber Pasztor was sentenced, Thursday. Photo by Jim Chapman | The Journal Gazette

Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:05 am

Pasztor sentenced to 130 years

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

GOSHEN – Amber Pasztor told an Elkhart County judge this morning she was sorry for smothering her two children to death in September. 

"I do believe you're sorry," Circuit Court Judge Michael A. Christofeno told Pasztor before sentencing her to 130 years in prison. "But that unfortunately does not undo this horrific act."

Pasztor, who is bipolar and schizophrenic, will receive mental health treatment before she is sent to the Indiana Department of Correction, Christofeno said.

The judge cited Pasztor's remorse and the fact she took responsibility for her actions as mitigating factors. The judge cited her use of alcohol, marijuana and synthetic marijuana as aggravating factors.

Pasztor, 30, pleaded guilty but mentally ill in Elkhart County June 1 to two counts of murder in the deaths of her two children whom she abducted in Allen County in September.

Defense lawyer Peter C. Soldato told the judge the killings would not have occurred if it weren't for Pasztor's drug use and mental illness.

"Essentially, she poisoned herself over the course of two years," Soldato said.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki E. Becker agreed, but added Pasztor did not take advantage of programs offered in the past that would have helped her.

"She made a choice based on her own irrational and illogical perception," Becker said. "She claims she was not high that day. I find that very hard to believe."

As part of her plea agreement with prosecutors, Pasztor waived her right to appeal her conviction.

Becker said Pasztor will soon be taken to Fort Wayne where she is charged with murder in the death of Frank Macomber who was killed around the same time she killed her children.

Pasztor underwent three psychological evaluations to determine whether she was able to assist with her defense. Christofeno ruled June 1 that Pasztor was competent to stand trial in the deaths of her children.

Pasztor raided her father and stepmother's home on Goshen Road before 6 a.m. Sept. 26 and kidnapped her children, Liliana Hernandez, 7, and Rene Pasztor, 6, leaving behind her younger son, Juelz Santos Aguirre, 3.

Ricky Green, Pasztor's father and his wife, Emily Lasko-​Green, had custody of the children.

While an Amber Alert was in effect, Pasztor took her children to Elkhart that day, eventually parking behind the Elkhart Police Department. She flagged down an Elkhart police officer and led him to the tan Mercury Mystique where the officer found her dead children. She told investigators she smothered them with her hands.

Pasztor told police she shot Macomber, 65, with a rifle he bought for her. His body was found about 1:40 a.m. Sept. 27 in the woods close to the Goshen Road home where Pasztor's father and stepmother live.

Pasztor and Macomber were once neighbors at Countryside Village mobile home park in northwest Fort Wayne.

For more on this story, read Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Friday.

jchapman@jg.net