PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- The man who killed a 17-year-old Lake County girl in 1985 and buried her in a strawberry patch will have to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison in 2025.
Scott A. Grant, 51, is serving time at the Lebanon Correctional Institution for the death of Michelle Hayes. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and burglary with a maximum sentenced of 40 years in prison.
The victim's niece, Lauren Godec, was happy with the results of Monday's hearing, but knows there is a bigger battle ahead. Grant has a parole hearing next month.
"I'm my mom's voice. I'm Michelle's voice. We'll keep fighting, every chance we get," Godec said.
Hayes, a student at Mentor High School, died as she fought off Grant's sexual advances. He and a 16-year-old accomplice cut off her legs so her body would fit in a wheelbarrow and buried her in a shallow grave, investigators said.
The other teen was released after serving a maximum sentence of 25 years.
"It's extremely hard. How do you grieve when you've constantly being reminded of something so horrific? You don't get time to grieve with family," Godec said. "You want to be able to be able to be at peace and you're not because you're constantly fighting to keep someone behind bars who deserves to be there for life."