LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seventeen-year-old Angel Dawn Busz asked for forgiveness as she acknowledged the heinous crimes she committed and defined her time in jail as the wake-up call, she needed to pursue a better life.
Meanwhile, the man she conspired to rob and beat at her 17th birthday party, Tim Landrum, who hosted the party, limped from the courtroom Wednesday, his face permanently contorted from the attack.
As Tippecanoe Superior 1 Judge Randy Williams began his sentencing, Busz gazed at her family and fought back tears. Williams announced the teenager would have to serve six years at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by two years on Tippecanoe County Community Correction and four years of supervised probation, for the Jan. 7 shooting of Jose Vallerjo. Busz pleaded guilty to robbery with the aid from Shantel Alexis Kinney and another friend. Kinney received a five-year sentence for her involvement with the crime.
More: Teenager pleads guilty to robbery; avoids trial for attempted murder
More: Teenage robber receives 18-year prison sentence, followed by six years of probation
Regarding the attack and robbery of Landrum on Dec. 1, 2020, Williams sentenced Busz to serve six years at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by one year on Tippecanoe County Community Correction and three years of supervised probation.
That sentence will be consecutive, meaning she will serve 12 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, three years on Tippecanoe County Community Correction. Once she's been released, she'll have to serve seven years on supervised probation.
"I know what I did was wrong and I should be punished for what I did… This was the wake-up call I needed," said Busz before sentencing.
Busz shared with the court letters that she had written for each of the victims as a way to show how remorseful she was of her actions.
"I'm so thankful that you're OK and I'm sorry for what I did," Busz read to the court.
"If I knew how that night was going to be, I would have never gone that night."
She also mentioned how she had lost her way after she ran away from home and had gotten entangled with the wrong crowd.
After hearing what she had to say, Williams highlighted how Busz played a key role in planning both of the crimes that she was being sentenced for and compared her actions to that of Bonnie and Clyde.
"They left him lying in a pool of blood and laughed about it all the way home," said Williams, referencing lyrics in "The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde" by Georgie Fame, as well as how Busz and her friends left Tim Landrum for dead in a pool of his own blood.
On Dec. 1, Busz, Kinney and six other teens beat and robbed Landrum, who had thrown a birthday party for two. He was found the evening of Dec. 2 by his housemate; he was unconscious and lying in his own blood d under his kitchen table.
He was in a coma for three weeks and has traumatic brain injuries caused by the beating.
Busz and Kinney also planned the robbery to get bond money for Busz's boyfriend, according to evidence presented. They ended up at the wrong house, and Vallerjo was shot.
"You avoided a federal case by the skin of your teeth," explained Williams, as he informed Busz that if either victim had died from their actions, Kinney and Busz would have been facing federal charges.
Additionally, Busz violated a court order not to have contact with Kinney, but while both have been in jail, they have passed notes using other inmates as intermediators. It was a point that Williams made note of in his sentencing.
Victim's impact statement
Holly Landrum Mullen, Tim Landrum's sister, read a letter she had written to Busz as part of her victim's impact statement.
"You set in motion a nightmare for my family," she said.
"I do know you did nothing to stop it. There's two hours of footage," she said.
After Landrum was found by his housemate, he had to be care-flighted to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
"During this time, I actually wrote my brother's obituary. That's not a fun thing to do," Holly Landrum Mullen testified.
Tim Landrum's three sons have lost the dad they knew before the beating and try to adjust to the man he is today.
When Tim Landrum was in a coma, they recorded messages to their dad, which the nurses played for him.
"You almost left them without their father," Holly Landrum Mullens said.
"Your actions were cold, calculated and manipulative," she said. "You showed my bother no mercy."
"When my brother woke up, he said, 'I don't want to be someone's vegetable.' That broke my heart," she said.
"How could someone so young be so wicked?" she said.
"There's one thing that we do share. My birthday is also on Dec. 2, and now every birthday I will think about what you did that day," she said.
Eighteen-year-old Dion Tyler Kinney was sentenced by Tippecanoe Superior 1 Judge Randy Williams to serve 19 years, 15 years at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by three years on Tippecanoe County Community Correction and one year of probation.
Kinney was sentenced for his involvement with the attack and robbery of Landrum on Dec. 1, and pleaded guilty to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.
Noe Padilla is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email him at Npadilla@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Teenage robber receives a 22-year prison sentence, 7 years probation