No closure for family as child killer gets 40 years

The grandfather of 3-year-old murder victim Andrew Michael Slyter asked that photographs of the smiling toddler be put on display for the boy's killer and the audience at Craig R. Sadosky's sentencing Wednesday in New London Superior Court.

"That was what Andy looked like before he died," said John Aberg of Lisbon.

The grandfather then held up a plastic bag containing a portion of the ashes from the little boy's cremation.

"This is what he looks like today," Aberg said.

Aberg and other family members of the boy who was killed by Sadosky in November 2007 delivered heart-rending victim impact statements as Sadosky was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Sadosky, a 39-year-old former computer analyst, had pleaded guilty to murdering Andrew at his family's home at 67 Hillcrest Ave. in the Point O' Woods section of Old Lyme on Nov. 19, 2007.

A recurring theme was that Andrew's loved ones will be haunted forever by what happened to the happy and trusting child who was taken out of his bed in the middle of the night, brutally beaten and sexually molested. Andrew died after undergoing emergency surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital. The cause of death was blunt trauma to the head.

"Put yourself in the mind of our precious little boy," said his maternal grandmother, Marta M. Aberg. "He wouldn't have understood what was happening. He would have been terrified."

Andrew's mother, Sarah Slyter, had been dating Sadosky and was staying overnight at his home with her son and the family dog. She awoke to find her son lying face down in the bathroom, wearing nothing but his underwear. She said Sadosky had locked the border collie, MacIntosh, in the bedroom with her, removing the child from those who would protect him while he coldly calculated and carried out his murder.

"He took Andrew from his bed, took him outside, assaulted him, carried him back into the house, and spent hours attempting to cover up his crime while Andrew's life drained away," she said. "For no reason at all, other than that is how evil he truly is."

The family members spoke, also, of how there is no such thing as closure, and how a 40-year sentence, or any sentence, is not long enough to pay for the loss of the little boy.

"What would Andy have accomplished in 40 years?" asked Aberg, the grandfather. "He had the potential to do anything he chose."

Sadosky, a large man in an orange prison jumpsuit, sat between his two attorneys during the lengthy sentencing, looking forward but appearing not to take in the child's photographs. He did not address the court.

Attorney Kevin C. Barrs said the question still lingers as to why Sadosky killed the little boy. He said his client appeared to have everything - a master's degree, a good job, a girlfriend and a family beach home in Old Lyme - but that underneath he had been suffering from anxiety and depression and was self-medicating with a dangerous combination of prescription drugs he was buying online.

"In the end, he just blew," Barrs said.

Prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla said the surgeon who worked on Andrew at Yale wrote in her report that it was "the worst abuse I have ever seen as a doctor or personally." Tytla was stricken by the statement, he said, because doctors usually are more restrained.

"There really can be no balance between what happened to Andrew and the sentence that is imposed today," Tytla said. "I'm left with a sense of futility, of how little the justice system can do to make a wrong right. There's just so little we can do."

Judge Patrick J. Clifford said Sadosky's version of the crime in a pre-sentencing report was a "chilling and unimaginable account, really, of what happened to this defenseless 3-year-old." He called the crime a senseless, anger-motivated homicide and said he feared that the victim did not die quickly. He apologized to the boy's family for how long the case had taken to resolve - Sadosky had appeared in court more than 40 times before a plea agreement was reached - and said the court was not attempting to measure the value of the child's life with the sentence.

"All I can say is that, whether it's justice or not, it is a reasonable resolution of this short of trial," Clifford said. He told Sadosky he should serve every single day of the sentence and that "it is a sentence you should not outlive."

k.florin@theday.com

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