MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - A Rowan County man will spend 38 years in prison for killing the mother of his child. Casey Shay pleaded guilty to the murder of Cassie Owens, 21, in March 2013. The couple's daughter was two at the time.
Before the judge gave Shay his sentence Monday morning, the victim's mother talked directly to him in court.
"Casey, there are many things that I want to share with you," said Melody York, Owens' mother.
She described the moment she learned of the murder, picking up a phone call from her other daughter.
"She said, 'Have you seen the news?' And again, I say no and then I asked her the first thing that comes to my mind. I asked if Cassie was alive and she said no," said York.
Since the murder, York says she's begun a ministry. She said her religion has allowed her to forgive him.
"Casey, even though many hate, you need to know that I don't. I don't hate you. I hate what you did with a passion, but I don't hate you. I can't say that I love you, but I don't hate you," said York.
The judge also ordered that Shay have no contact with the couple's daughter while he's in custody.
York said she wasn't happy with the sentence. She'd hoped for life in prison.