A minister said Friday the woman who killed her mother and tried to murder her father blamed a poor relationship with her family for the tragedy.
Tammy Menke, 48, of Ohio City, offered an apology but had nothing else to say before Van Wert County Common Pleas Judge Charles Steele sentenced her to 20 years to life in prison on the charges of murder with a gun and felonious assault with a gun.
Menke shot her mother, Barbara Robinson, to death and shot her father, John Robinson, in the leg on Nov. 14 at 223 S. Fulton St., Van Wert.
Minster Chuck Eberle said Tamara Menke never had a good relationship with her mother. He said her mother never gave her the love she needed, beginning as a child. As a 14-year-old child, her mother gave her a letter rejecting her, he said.
“The mother is telling her in the letter, leave me alone. Get a life. I don’t want anything to do with you,” Eberle said.
Menke’s father did not speak, but an unnamed woman read a statement he wrote.
“That day, I not only lost the love of my life, but I also lost my daughter and stepson,” the statement said.
The father’s statement said his wife was a caring person who was full of life. They had recently retired and were ready to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Assistant Van Wert County Prosecutor Martin Burchfield reminded the court Barbara Robinson lost his life, and John Robinson was shot.
“He deserves justice,” Burchfield said.
Eberle is a volunteer minister at the Van Wert County jail but has known Menke for 30 years as a minister at other churches. He said she always had struggles in life and was raised by her grandmother until she was 10, when her grandmother died.
“Since that time she has been pushed away and been denied every bit of love a family should offer especially their own child,” he said.
Eberle said Menke also had to deal with her younger brother’s suicide. He said Menke needs help more than she needs to be punished.
“Tammy had been punished for 48 years of her life,” he said.
By Greg Sowinski - The Lima News, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)
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