"Today is Marilyn's day," said Carolyn Rahn of her twin, Marilyn McIntyre, who was murdered in March 1980.
Curtis E. Forbes, 53, of Randolph, was sentenced in Columbia County Circuit Court on Wednesday to life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree murder at a trial in November; the charge carries a mandatory life sentence. The courtroom was filled with friends and family of McIntyre and Forbes as well as law enforcement officers.
Because Forbes is convicted for a crime committed in 1980, he will be eligible for parole June 23, 2020, according to Assistant Attorney General David Wambach.
"I will be at every parole hearing," Rahn said.
The conviction and sentence, she said is "like a cloud being lifted off my head," Rahn said. "We got him."
She said the sentence will allow her to concentrate more fully on her life and her family - neglected for 30 years while the murder went unsolved, she said.
According to authorities, McIntyre was killed during the early morning hours of March 11, 1980, at her Columbus apartment while her husband, Lane McIntyre, was at work.
An autopsy report said she was bludgeoned, strangled and stabbed in the apartment while her 3-month-old son, Christopher, lay quietly in his crib, unhurt.
The 10-day trial was "hard-fought," Judge Alan White said Wednesday by attorneys on both sides; after about three hours of deliberation on Nov. 15, the day after McIntyre's birthday, 12 jurors from Jefferson County found Forbes guilty of first-degree murder in the death of McIntyre, 18.
White pronounced the sentence at the conclusion of the hearing, which lasted about three hours.
"In the case of Marilyn McIntyre, the heinous nature of the crime, a person committing that crime has forfeited their right to remain in society and they are duly and appropriately ... sentenced to life in prison," White said.
The hearing allowed time for statements by McIntyre's family and friends as well as those by Forbes' family.
At the hearing, Rahn spoke of the bond twin sisters have, and of her feeling that she failed to be there for her sister that night.
"I still feel like half of me died that with her that night," Rahn said tearfully. "Some people still call me by her name."
It is difficult, she said, because of what family members see when she walks through a door.
"For that split second, I know they see Marilyn," Rahn said.
Rahn has suffered nightmares, depression, anxiety attacks and contemplated suicide, she said.
"My heart has been emptied, and my life filled with anger and tears," Rahn said at the hearing.
Forbes, she said, is "truly ... an evil person."
"It is only fair he starts living the hell he has caused my family and I," Rahn said.
"We finally got you," she said to Forbes at the hearing. "I told you it would just be a matter of time. I hope you burn in hell."
Christopher McIntyre, McIntyre's son, recounted all the moments with his mother that he lost, including taking her flowers, eating a meal with her and showing her his school grades.
"You took all those precious moments away from me and replaced them with heartache for me and my family," Christopher said at the hearing.
For Lane McIntyre, the hearing provided an opportunity to keep a promise he made to Marilyn and to move on. He referred to the Lord's Prayer and the phrase "as we forgive those who trespass against us," he said.
"I forgive you, Curtis Forbes, for what you've done," he said at the hearing, speaking with difficulty and emotionally.
Speaking with the Daily Register, Lane McIntyre said that he wants Marilyn to be proud of him; he said he knows she wants him to be happy.
Rhonda Erickson, sister to McIntyre's husband, Lane McIntyre, called the murder "senseless, brutal, intentional."
McIntyre's death still hurts, she said.
Forbes, according to Erickson, is "cold-hearted ... demonic ... he has no soul," Erickson said.
"I hate this person," she said of Forbes. "I never thought in my life I would say that."
Wendy Duren, Wendy Duren, McIntyre's sister in law, said she shared the tasks of being a young mother, as well as "good times" with McIntyre shortly after Christopher McIntyre was born in December 1979.
"It all stopped when you took her life," Duren said to Forbes. "I will heal knowing you will be in prison. ... Good riddance to such an evil person."
Brenda Daniels, McIntyre's older sister, gave a list of family memories that McIntyre has missed for 30 yeas, including holidays and family birthdays.
"It sickens me to look at you. ... You I will never forgive," Daniels said to Forbes.
In statements to White, Wambach described Forbes as "deceptive" and of "low character," a person who has the characteristics and mindset of a domestic abuser, including lack of remorse, having a public "front" that covers a very different person in private, the inability to call Marilyn by her name because he sees her as an object and believing himself to be the victim. Forbes committed the murder, Wambach said, because he believed he was entitled to sex with Marilyn; when she said no, he saw her as an enemy.
"It's the sense of entitlement that makes them able to have no remorse about what they did," Wambach told White.
Wambach praised Lane McIntyre's statement of forgiveness.
"Very few of us able to summon that type of courage in the face of adversity," Wambach said.
At the hearing, at Wambach's request, White ordered Forbes to register as a sex offender, although he has not been convicted of sexual assault.
Wambach said he would have prosecuted Forbes with sexual assault if the statute of limitations would not have prevented the charge.
Speaking for his brother Curtis Forbes, Dennis Forbes said he and his family believe the Forbes is innocent and that the case was "railroaded" to conviction.
"The family is going to stick behind him until the murderer is caught," he said. "We believe there was no way he could have committed this murder."
Forbes' defense attorneys, David Geier and Robert Christensen of Madison, said the initial paperwork already has been filed to begin the appeals process; a hearing on a motion by Geier and Christensen for a new trial has not been scheduled.
Christensen admitted at the hearing that he and Geier were "sorely disappointed" with the guilty verdict.
In a statement on behalf of Forbes, Christensen noted that his defendant had no criminal history to point the capability of violence.
Christensen said anger expressed by Forbes is excusable for a man in his situation.
"Taking away your freedom unjustly leads to anger," Christensen said, for a man in an unending nightmare like Forbes.
Forbes, Christensen said, felt empathy for the loss of McIntyre.
"I know how badly he felt then," Christensen said.
Forbes, when given a chance to speak on his behalf, said, "I agree with my lawyer."
Wambach submitted a request for $5,540.57 in restitution from Forbes, to be paid by his prison wages or from his estate. The amount includes the cost of McIntyre's funeral and gravesite headstone, and money the county paid to expert witnesses and witnesses who came from outside Wisconsin for the various hearings in the case.
White is allowing Geier and Christensen 30 days to raise objections to the request.
Forbes is eligible for parole after 11 years and 3 months following his sentencing date, according to 1980 statutes, under which he was sentenced because that was when the death occurred. However, time served is included, and that is calculated from the day of his arrest. He was given 702 days jail credit at Wednesday's hearing, which means just more than nine years total until parole will be considered.
The case has garnered attention from the CBS News magazine "48 Hours"; cast, crew and producers have been in the area this week filming for the show, which has a scheduled air date of April 23.
Producer Sarah Huisenga asked in January for any video or pictures of Columbus in 1980.
Christopher McIntyre's statement
In the words of Christopher McIntyre, Marilyn McIntyre's son; Marilyn was murdered in March 1980, when Christopher was 3 months old. Christopher read the statement at a sentencing hearing Wednesday for Curtis Forbes, convicted of McIntyre's murder.
"I was never able to get my mom flowers and take her out to a diner on Mother's Day. I was never able to surprise my mom on her birthdays and watch her face light up. I was never able to show my mom report cards with A's on them or wave to her when I graduated. I was never able to spend a holiday season with my mom. I was never able to sit down with my mom over a home-cooked meal and talk to her about her day. I was never able to do the most basic of things with my mom like tell her I love her. You took all these precious moments away from me and replaced them with heartache for me and my family.
I believe you have no response for what you did, only self pity and denial. I would put you in the self-centered, egotistical, over-confident, low-life, abusive rapist, murderer category. I sure hope you enjoyed your last thirty years of freedom, because the next years of your life you will spend enjoying a prison cell. Then, when you finally die, you will be sentenced to an eternity in hell where you will be forced to pay for your sins.