Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 21, 2013

TOP STORIES (10): Prison sentences, memorial mark end of Isabella Tennant murder case

Niagara Gazette — In 2012, it was a crime that left Falls residents shaken by its randomness and brutality.

By the end of 2013, the two teens accused of killing 5-year-old Isabella Tennant, and leaving her body in a trash bag buried in a garbage can in the 500 block alley of Third Street, had received justice.

For the admitted killer, John Freeman Jr., it was a sentence of 22 years to life in prison for his guilty plea to charges of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Tyler Best, Freeman’s best friend, who helped him dispose of Tennant’s body, but then led frantic police investigators to her remains, was judged to be a “youthful offender” and sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 16 months to four years on an evidence tampering charge and 12 months to three years on a charge of hindering prosecution. 

He may soon be eligible for release and parole.

Even with the guilty pleas by Freeman and Best and their prison sentences, the end of the case did little to explain why the killing happened. Nor did it give much comfort to Tennant’s fractured family.

In a letter from Isabella’s father, read in court at Freeman’s sentencing, the irreplaceable loss of a child was apparent.

“I’m truly sorry I couldn’t muster the strength to be in a room with the disgusting animal who strangled a 5-year-old girl,” Isabella’s father wrote. “This disgusting animal killed my daughter. There is not one second I am not in pain. Freeman, do yourself a favor and hope you die before you see the light of day. I will be watching and waiting for you.”

Prosecutors in the case said they desperately looked for a motive for the murder, wondering if Freeman had, perhaps, tried to sexually assault the child and accidentally killed her.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results