CLARK COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - A man connected to a murder that happened nearly five years ago was sentenced on Monday.
A judge sentenced Connor Scott to 37 years in prison, followed by three years of parole for first-degree murder.
He will not be eligible for early release.
Scott was charged for the death of Kaylyn Whitaker. She was killed on October 31, 2014, in Martinsville, Illinois.
In February Scott confessed to the murder. He was in a relationship with her at the time of her death.
Kaylyn's family told us they feel more at peace now that he was sentenced.
Kaylyn's mother Leslie Roberts addressed the court Monday.
She said she was feeling a mix of emotions while reading her victim impact statement.
"I was angry when I was reading it, because it's a long time coming. People needed to hear my impact statement, and I believe it was definitely from Kay. From her heart. It's something definitely Kaylyn would want everybody to hear" said Roberts.
The family said they would've liked to see Scott serve more time, but they're at peace with the decision.
"I don't think we'll ever feel like justice has been totally served with our situation, because the loss of Kaylyn is immeasurable. We miss her so much. We hurt for her everyday. It's so hard being without her," said Roberts.
After the hearing, family and friends gathered outside the courthouse lawn for a balloon release.
Everyone wrote a special message to Kaylyn before releasing their balloons.
Roberts said her balloon message from the movie The Notebook has a special meaning to it.
"One day we were watching the movie, and she looked over at me and said 'Mom, if I'm a bird,' and I looked over at her and said 'Then I'm a bird,' the balloon release was very very special and it was just to honor Kaylyn," said Roberts.
This was a very difficult day for everyone involved.
Roberts said its family and friends that make it all a little bit easier.
"Kaylyn would be so grateful that we've got the family, her friends and all the love that everybody has surrounded us with," said Roberts.