Boyle Co. teen convicted in stepmother's death sentenced to 15 years

Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton
Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 27, 2019 at 2:29 PM EDT
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Jenna Oakley, the Boyle County teen convicted in the death of her stepmother will spend 15 years in prison for the crime.

Jenna was 15 years old when police say she killed her stepmother, Rhonda Oakley, at her Junction City home in September of 2016.

Earlier this year, Jenna pleaded guilty to manslaughter and car theft.

Lawyers for Oakley spent much of Wednesday’s sentence hearing trying to convince the judge to allow her to serve time in residential treatment.

More than a half dozen witnesses testified, most of whom worked with Jenna at the Adair County juvenile holding facility. They spoke largely about her exemplary behavior while there.

Another woman, described as a mitigation specialist, talked about how Jenna had a difficult home life, both while living with her mother in Indiana, and with her father in Kentucky. Upon meeting Jenna, the woman testified that Jenna told her, “All I ever wanted was a family.”

Most of the youth workers in Adair County say they never had any issues with Oakley.

“Nothing but positive,” says Heather Sinclair, with the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center. “Never had any issues with her. Very respectful. Very well mannered.”

After considering the arguments for an hour, however, the judge decided Jenna needed incarceration and not treatment and sentenced her to 15 years.

"I would note that this was particularly cruel," said Judge Darren Peckler, adding, "It was senseless, it was even callous, in that regard."

Oakley will receive credit for time already served, and must serve 85 percent of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.