referred to as monster gets 25 years
Andrus was 41-years-old when she was murdered.
On Tuesday, Eva Jo Eiken testified in
Platte County Circuit Court about the kind of things
people in the packed courthouse hadnt even considered
about the murder of her 41-year-old daughter Laurie
Its about thinking about how
to dress your daughter for her funeral, Eiken
said to audible gasps. About questioning whether
to have an open or closed casket
packing up her
apartment and seeing evidence of the struggle.
Less than an hour after she spoke those
words, the man who murdered her daughter, Jody K. Malone,
20, of Gladstone, was sentenced to 25 years in prison
for the killing.
And although the friends and family of
Laurie Andrus were spared a lengthy trial when Malone
entered a guilty plea in the crime last December, the
combination of their testimonials and Platte County
Prosecutor Eric Zahnds arguments during the sentencing
hearing did more than enough to inflame their emotions
and add to their hunger for justice.
She was always smiling, her
father, Carl Eiken testified. She didnt
think she had an enemy in the world.
But on July 27, 2003, Andrus did have
an enemy in the form of Malone a 19-year-old,
61, 230-pound, semi-pro football player who had
attended a party at Andrus Bicycle Club apartment
in southern Platte County earlier that evening.
According to Zahnd, Malone returned to
Andrus apartment after the party ended and murdered
her in a ferocious, heinous, and barbaric way.
Zahnd said Malone inflicted at least 36
separate abrasions, 50 separate bruises, three broken
ribs, and a 4½ by 2½ slash
to Andrus throat. He entered as states evidence
the autopsy report which revealed that Andrus suffered
four stab wounds to her vaginal area, one of which was
five inches deep. In addition, the report showed bruises
to the victims hands, which Zahnd said indicated
she had struggled with her attacker.
She died in a fight for her life,
Zahnd said. A fight that she lost.
Andrus death was discovered on July
29 after her father contacted police because he had
not seen or heard from her in two days. Kansas City
police officers went to Andrus apartment and found
her naked, bludgeoned body lying in a pool of blood.
A serrated steak knife with a missing handle was found
near the body, her apartment was splattered with blood.
Zahnd said that although the case wasnt
a pre-meditated or first-degree murder, he offered the
argument that the manner in which Andrus died was far
worse. She didnt die from the clean
attack of a trained assassin, Zahnd said.
This woman died in a horrendous
attack, Zahnd stated. He didnt stop
kicking her until he heard her gurgling on her own blood.
Zahnd ridiculed Malones defense,
outlining how he had attempted to cover up the crime
and how he lied to homicide investigators.
He says Lori Andrus instigated the
crime with a stab to her vaginal area. He knows how
bad (the act) is going to make him look, Zahnd
remarked. This man is a monster who brutally beat,
stabbed, and sexually mutilated Laurie Andrus as she
fought valiantly for her life.
Zahnd also challenged Malones assertion
that he had been diagnosed with intermittent explosive
disorder, a psychiatric condition that leads to
aggression and rage attacks. Zahnd said that even if
the diagnosis was true, it only explained Malones
actions but didnt excuse it. Zahnd characterized
Malone as a ticking time bomb instead.
It is for these sorts of time bombs
that we build prisons, Zahnd argued. We
should lock this man up and throw away the key so that
the next the time bomb goes off, an innocent person
like Laurie Andrus does not get brutally murdered.
Various members of Malones family
testified on his behalf. All of them spoke about Malones
church attendance and his popularity in school. Some
blamed Malones abuse of alcohol and his use of
Zoloft (an assertion Zahnd successfully argued against
on the grounds such a claim contradicted Malones
intermittent explosive disorder defense). Others painted
the picture of a depressed college dropout who couldnt
handle his adopted parents' divorce and a breakup from
his high school sweetheart.
His mother testified that she was not
proud of what he had done, but loved him nonetheless.
She told the judge she hoped that he would be released
in time to live a productive life out of prison.
Malone, dressed in a white sport shirt,
green tie, khakis and arm shackles, sat emotionless
for most of the hearing, rigidly slumped over in his
chair. He surprised many when he decided to testify
on his behalf.
Tears streaming down his face, he turned
and faced the family of Andrus.
I didnt want to do it, I didnt
mean it, I swear it, Malone cried. By doing
this, I took someone away. Im very sorry.
Malone said that what he did was the worst
thing that can happen to a mother before asking
Eiken for forgiveness.
When I look in the mirror every
day, Im so disgusted with what I see, Malone
said, throwing himself at the mercy of the court.
The defendants family and
his attorney may suggest that this court should not
allow one incident to define Mr. Malones life,
Zahnd said. Sometimes one moment does define a
persons life. In this case, the defendants
vile and wanton murder of Laurie Andrus defines his
life because it ended hers.
Presiding Judge Lee Hull took a ten-minute
recess before returning with his sentence: 25-years
on the count of second-degree murder and 25-years on
the count of armed criminal action, to be served concurrently.
Hull said it was impossible to reconcile the Jody
Malone (he) had heard about in court with the
Zahnd said he was pleased with the decision,
pointing out that Malone would have to spend more than
21 years behind bars. He did, however, argue for two
30-year sentences to be run consecutively, or back to
back. Hulls decision allows Malone to serve for
both crimes at the same time.
After the decision was explained to the
family, Andrus father expressed outrage over the
sentence in the halls of the courthouse.
Hell come out and do it again,
Eiken said loudly, adding that Malone should have been
dealt with like a mad dog.
Outside the courthouse, Eva Jo Eiken told
reporters she forgave Malone, but that her
family and she would never have closure in the matter.
I wish it could have been me taking
the pain for her. Every mother wishes that.