A Circuit Court judge sentenced Stuart Lee Kreiner to life in prison yesterday, but recommended that he be sent to Patuxent Institution for psychiatric treatment.
Judge Bruce C. Williams said Patuxent is the only place in the adult correctional system where the 17-year-old youth can get the treatment he needs.
Kreiner was given one life sentence and two 30-year sentences for murdereing Theresa Hogan, 8; her sister, Deborah, 10 and Ann Brzeszkiewicz also 8.
The Kreiner youth admitted stabbing the girls with a hunting knife last month as they played in a wooded area near their northern Anne Arundel County homes.
At Patuxent, Kreiner would be eligible for release after only one year if authorities considered him to be no longer a threat to society.
With a life sentence in any other institution, he would have to serve at least 11 1/2 years - including time off for good behavior and for working - to be eligible for parole.
The decision to recommend Patuxent was part of a plea bargain worked out between lawyers for Kreiner and the county state's attorney's office.
It drew sharp criticism from the Hogans and from hundreds of residents of the Southgate community.
In an apparent response to those complaints, Williams said in court ther should be no concern that Kreiner would be released after only a year at Patuxent.
"That is just not within the realities of this case," Williams said. "I don't think its a possibility in this case."
Warren B. Duckett, Anne Arundel County state's attorney, said corrections officials have the final say on where in the state prison system Kreiner will be sent, but acknowledged that the recommendations from the court and the prosecutors does carry some weight. "I would be surprised if he didn't go there [Patuxent]," Duckett said.
At yesterday's sentencing, Williams permitted both Edward T. Kreiner, Stuart's father, and Richard F. Hogan, father of the two victims, to read statements into the record.
Hogan repeated his objection to the recommendation that Kreiner be sent to Patuxent.
"When punishment, whether imposed after a trial by jury or through plea bargaining, is not commensurate with the crime committed, then the very concept of justice is undermined," he said.
"Not only must justice be done, but society itself must be protected. Not just the survivors of the victims, but a belief everywhere that this cannot happen again," Hogan said.
Kreiner, who broke down several times while reading his longer and more emotional statement, said he called police and provided the evidence that implicated his son to fulfill his obligation to society.
But he said society also has an obligation "to be fair, understanding and just."