Charles Copass Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole

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By Kristin Martin | 

ALLEN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- Chelsey Mahaney's family had tears fill their eyes as they sat in Allen Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, waiting to find out what punishment 36-year-old Charles Copass would get for stabbing 22-year-old Chelsey and her unborn baby to death in June 2012.

"You don't get over something like that, and the day I die, I'll probably still have her on my mind, because I loved her, and you just don't get over stuff like that," said Diane Mahaney, Chelsey's grandmother.

An emotional two-year journey came to an end when Judge Janet Crocker sentenced Copass to life in prison without parole.

"He can't hurt another family, and that's what we wanted. We didn't want somebody else to go through what we went through," Diane said.

Back in February, Copass pleaded guilty to all charges surrounding the murder and waived his right to a jury sentencing.

His plea was unconditional -- making the death penalty an option.

The Allen County Commonwealth's Attorney called it one of the most horrible crimes the county has seen and said the death penalty would have been appropriate, but that's not what the family wanted.

"The death penalty would have been too easy. He needs to pay for what he's done. He needs to be with his kind of people," Diane said.

Copass's attorney also called the crime horrendous, but said his cooperation along the way should allow him the opportunity to live.

The judge gave Copass an opportunity to speak before leaving the courtroom, but he declined.

Judge Crocker said Copass could appeal his sentence to a higher court within 30 days.

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