Martzen hugs her friends and family outside the
“It's a tragedy that not only happened for the Van Leeuwens but for us. We sat with Megan when we found out Ella had died. Truthfully I thought we were going to lose Megan at that point because of the sadness she felt in her heart,” said John Martzen, the defendant's father-in-law.
Martzen was charged with murder in 2010. Earlier this year a jury could not reach a verdict. Martzen took a plea deal with an agreement that she wouldn't serve jail time. A judge decided Tuesday she'll serve three years probation and she is allowed to be around children. Defense attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt says this case was the most difficult of his career.
“The idea that I could complete this case and a woman could spend the rest of her life in prison because I didn't do a good enough job, when she's innocent, this case is the most difficult I've ever had. There isn't a close second and I don't ever want to do one of these again,” said Hammerschmidt.
The Van Leeuwen family did not wish to speak Tuesday. The Martzens hope that moving forward means healing for the two families, which used to be very close.
“Our community will be healed. Our community will be stronger,” said Martzen.
Martzen did not officially comment to media on Tuesday. Her attorney says she wants to tell her story in the future so that other families don’t go through the same thing.