By Katie Dahlstrom
On Oct. 23, 2008 Melissa Marburger prayed on a penny for her missing sister Alysia Marburger to come home.
A day later Alysia's partially nude remains were discovered in a ditch off U.S. 67 in Camanche.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine she'd come home in a body bag," Melissa said Thursday during the sentencing for the man charged in connection with Alysia's death. "I still have that penny. I'm not sure if it's lucky or not. Some might say it is since we were able to lay Alysia to rest while other families never see their missing loved ones again."
Andy Cole, 48, of Clinton, was sentenced in Clinton County District Court on Thursday to 10 years on one count of voluntary manslaughter and 5 years for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse in the death of Alysia, 27, of Sabula. Those sentences will be served consecutively.
Cole was charged last year with first-degree murder in connection with Marburger's death, but entered a plea agreement for lesser charges. On June 12, he entered an Alford plea to the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter, a Class C felony, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, a Class D felony.
An Alford plea means the defendant agrees a jury would likely convict during a trial, but it is not an admission of guilt.
Clinton County District Judge Marlita Greve ordered Cole to pay $150,000 in restitution to Alysia's family. Cole's parole on a 2010 burglary conviction will be served consecutively with his sentences in connection with Alysia's death.
Once Cole has completed his sentences, he will be on parole for 10 years and have to register as a sex offender. He will also be required to submit a DNA sample for profiling.