Mom says Ind. teen joked after killing brother

Published: Sep. 17, 2010 at 5:18 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2010 at 11:39 PM EDT
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Andrew Conley
Andrew Conley

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

RISING SUN, Ind. (FOX19- The mother of an Indiana teenager told attorneys he ate popcorn and joked with her the morning after he strangled his 10-year-old brother.

In video testimony played Friday during Andrew Conley's sentencing hearing in Rising Sun, Bridget Conley said her 18-year-old son seemed "fine" when she returned from her night shift at a casino.

She testified she sought counseling for her older son in the days before Conner Conley's November death after he said he had attempted suicide.

Bridget Conley hasn't attended the hearing, and said during the 75-minute deposition that she last spoke with her son soon after his arrest the day following the attack.

Bridget held back tears every time her younger son Connor's name was mentioned.

Bridget said she never saw any signs that Andrew was even thinking about killing his brother. She said that she and Andrew had always been close.

"We joked a lot," Bridget Conley said. "He told me everything. Well, everything I know. He told me he lost his virginity, so as far as I knew, we had a great relationship."

Bridget said Andrew loved his brother. She also said Connor looked up to Andrew.

"I mean there was a little brotherly aggravation, but he just thought Andrew was, you know, the greatest thing," said Bridget. "Because he had a car, a cell phone, he had freedom."

Bridget told lawyers that Andrew was a bright child and who always made A's and B's in school; had many friends, and big career dreams. Bridget said Andrew talked about going to college and then possibly owning his own security business, becoming a history teacher, and even enrolling in the National Guard.

Bridget said that the morning after Andrew killed Connor, he never showed any signs of what he had done.

"I stayed up with him," said Bridget. "Talking and joking."

Bridget told lawyers that Andrew told her that he attempted to commit suicide. She said after that, she tried to get help for her son, but her insurance didn't cover a visit to a psychiatrist.

Defense attorneys stressed that Andrew was living in an unstable home, but prosecutors aren't buying it.

"People grow up from mixed families and divorce and don't go around killing 10-year-old children," said Aaron Negangard, prosecutor for Dearborn and Ohio counties. "I don't think it carries any weight."

Andrew faces 45 years to life in prison.

Negangard said he plans to fight any possible insanity defense to ensure Andrew receives the maximum sentence possible: life behind bars, without parole.

"All I know is that he brutally murdered his brother and we think it's in the best interest of society that he spend the rest of his life behind bars," said Negangard.

The sentencing hearing could last through Monday, then the judge could take at least a week to decide his sentence.

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