Kody Patten, 18, arrested as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old of Micaela "Mickey" Constanzo, a popular student-athlete, whose body was found in a shallow desert grave near the Utah-Nevada line.UPDATE: Kody Cree Patten Sentenced To LWOP.

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Normal Kody Patten, 18, arrested as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old of Micaela "Mickey" Constanzo, a popular student-athlete, whose body was found in a shallow desert grave near the Utah-Nevada line.UPDATE: Kody Cree Patten Sentenced To LWOP.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:14 am

– Mon Mar 7, 7:14 pm ET

WEST WENDOVER, Nev. – A high school senior who had talked of someday serving in the U.S. Marine Corps was arrested Monday as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old classmate whose body was found in a shallow desert grave near the Utah-Nevada line.

Police said they arrested Kody Patten, 18, about 2 a.m. and booked him into the Elko County Jail for suspicion of murder.

He was being held without bail in the death of Micaela "Mickey" Constanzo, a popular student-athlete at West Wendover High School who disappeared after track practice Thursday.

School officials confirmed the two knew each other but released few other details.

Patten had talked of trying to enlist in the military upon graduation in the spring, with an eye on the Marine Corps, Vice Principal Craig Kyllonen said.

"You are talking about a school of 300 kids so they all kind of know each other," Kyllonen told The Associated Press on Monday.

He said he could not confirm earlier reports that the two had once dated, but he knew Patten currently has a different girlfriend.

Elko County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Carpenter told the AP Patten and Costanzo were acquaintances "of some kind" but declined further comment. He said no initial court appearance had been scheduled, and he did not know if Patten had obtained a lawyer. He said the cause of death had not been determined.

The Las Vegas Review Journal's Nevadapreps.com website listed Patten as a member of the school's football team during his sophomore year in 2008-09. The roster showed him as a 6-foot, 170-pound lineman at the time, but it wasn't immediately clear if he played any sports after that.

A phone listing with the last name Patten in West Wendover was disconnected.

Costanzo, a strong student who also played on the basketball team, was last seen leaving practice about 5:40 p.m. Thursday.

More than 100 volunteers helped look for her Saturday, and a searcher discovered the freshly dug grave about five miles west of the town. Costanzo's body was recovered the next day. An autopsy was planned Monday.

Friends said Costanzo was well-liked by her classmates.

"She was so sweet, like she would never do anything to anybody," said Laura Botello, a junior at the school. "Then just out of nowhere she disappears just like that in broad daylight."

School officials opened the high school for staff and students to gather Saturday. Students created makeshift memorials with flowers and candles.

"It's very solemn," said high school counselor Anne Crawford. "There's lots of tears and there's a lot of people very scared or nervous."

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Normal Re: Kody Patten, 18, arrested as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old of Micaela "Mickey" Constanzo, a popular student-athlete, whose body was found in a shallow desert grave near the Utah-Nevada line.UPDATE: Kody Cree Patten Sentenced To LWOP.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:28 am

WEST WENDOVER, Nevada -- The name of the suspected killer in the case of the missing 16-year-old Nevada teen was released Monday.

Mickey's family, friends, and her entire community are devastated.
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Kody Patten, 18, arrested and suspected of killing 16-year-old Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo
Photo: Elko County Sherif
f

Eighteen-year-old Kody Patten was arrested early Monday and is suspected of killing 16-year-old Micaela "Mickey" Costanza and then burying her in a shallow grave in the Nevada desert.

Mickey went missing Thursday. Her community rallied together and about 100 people, including fellow students from her school, set out to search for her Saturday morning.
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By late morning one of the searches located what appeared to be a shallow grave. The search was abruptly called off by police to preserve a possible crime scene.

West Wendover High School Principal Craig Kyllonen said police told him and his staff on Monday at 8 a.m. that the arrest of Patten was made around 2 a.m. Monday morning.

The Elko County Sheriff's Office identified the man as Kody Patten. He was booked into jail on suspicion of murder.

According to Kyllonen, Mickey and Patten knew each other. He believes the two may have dated a couple of years ago.

The last time Mickey was seen alive was on surveillance video from West Wendover High School that showed her walking away from the school at 5:15 p.m. She never made it home.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, teachers, and everyone else grieving the loss of Mickey. Though I didn't personally know Mickey, it is very obvious from all I am reading that she was a fantastic young lady with a full life ahead of her. It is so tragic that her life was taken from her and all those who knew and loved her.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Micaela Costanzo: Name of West Wendover teen's suspected killer released - National missing persons | Examiner.com [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Normal Judge and Courtroom Observers, Hear Emotional Confession and Apology From Kody Patten

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed May 22, 2013 7:30 pm

Aug. 2 2011

Courtroom observers Tuesday heard a tearful plea by a father for his son to do what's right, followed by a tearful confession from an 18-year-old charged with murder.

And then a tearful apology.

The first day of the preliminary hearing for Kody Cree Patten ended with an emotional 45-minute recording of Patten's interview with police on the night he was arrested in connection with the death of fellow West Wendover High School student, 16-year-old Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo.

"Can I just say on the record, that I'm sorry," a tearful Patten tells police investigators at the end of the recorded interview. "I hate being me, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, that it had to happen to someone who didn't deserve it."

The emotional confession and apology came at the end of a full day of testimony in Elko Justice Court Judge Al Kacin's courtroom. Patten is charged with kidnapping and killing Costanzo on March 3 and then burying her body in a shallow grave in the desert outside of Wendover. Last month, Patten's fiancée and co-defendant, 19-year-old Toni Fratto, was ordered to stand trial for her alleged role in the killing.

Fratto was bound over for trial despite no physical or forensic evidence that linked her to the crime. The decision was based on two confessions that Fratto's attorneys say came from non-credible sources.

But outside the courthouse Tuesday, Patten's defense attorney John Ohlson noted that no physical or forensic evidence had been presented yet against his client, either. Ohlson believes his client's girlfriend, Fratto, is the main culprit behind Micaela's death.

"Kody's not entirely responsible for this. We don't think he's the engine, the motivation, the force behind this killing," he said.

Ohlson wasn't trying to argue that his client is completely free of responsibility, but said the reason he was hired was to fight against a possible death penalty sentence if he's convicted.

The Elko District Attorney's Office has not said whether it will seek the death penalty.

What prosecutors did present Tuesday was an emotional interview between Patten and police that began on the night of March 6 and ended early the next morning.

After Patten's Miranda rights are read, investigators give him time to speak alone with his father, Kip Patten, to consider whether he wanted to waive his right to remain silent and have an attorney present. Because his rights had been read, the recording was still running during the meeting between Patten and his father.

During the discussion, an emotional Kip Patten tells his son to tell detectives what they needed to know so they could begin the process of healing and moving on.

"You gotta start fixin' this as much as you can," an emotional Kip Patten tells him. "I know you want to be with your family and I wanna be with you. … I wanna be with you as much as I can. I don't want to abandon you."

The detectives interviewing Kody Patten agree to let his family stay with him at the police station until morning.

"You gotta go all the way. You need to put this to bed as quickly as you can," Kip Patten pleads with his son. "Get it done. The family needs their answers."

Kip Patten continues with more words of encouragement like, "We have to fix this. You understand that you did something wrong. I know it's horrible." Patten finally has a big outburst of tears as he tells his son, "You realize you're going away, right?"

Kody Patten tells his father, however, that his concern is what will happen to his parents.

"I'm fine, Dad. I know what's going to happen to me. I'm willing to accept it."

Nearly everyone sitting in the small, packed basement courtroom was either choked up or openly crying as the recording was played. Kody Patten, who had fluctuated between being tearful, looking frequently around the courtroom at the audience and writing or doodling on a piece of paper throughout the day, tried to bury his head in the table in front of him as the interview was played. A bailiff handed him several tissues as he wiped away tears.

After agreeing to talk to police, a tearful Patten indicates that Micaela seemed to be interested in getting back together with him but that he wasn't willing to leave Fratto. During Fratto's preliminary hearing last month, a close friend of Micaela said she had no interest in doing that at all.

As Micaela and Patten continued to argue, he told police that he stopped the vehicle they were in. The two got out and the argument became physical when Micaela kept pushing Patten. Patten said he eventually reacted by pushing back.

"She just fell back and hit her head on the back bumper of the car. She didn't get up," Patten said.

When Micaela finally came to, she struggled with him and Patten said he shoved her again. This time, she fell backward and hit her head on a rock and went into a seizure.

"I knew something bad was happening," he said.

Patten claimed he tried to pick up Micaela and put her in the car to get help. But as she continued to struggle, Patten said he thought maybe knocking her out would help, so he hit her in the back of her head with a shovel, causing severe damage.

"She made a really horrible sound that I can't get out of my head," he said crying.

From there, Patten said he panicked. "I was so scared."

He started pulling her clothes off, thinking that would cause her to decompose faster. At one point he said he considered taking her body "to the dump and just dump her out there" but couldn't convince himself to do it. When asked about the plastic zip ties found on Micaela's wrist, Patten said it was part of the plan to dump her body.

Patten told investigators he burned the clothes he took off Micaela and put her body in a shallow grave. After that, he said he "sat there for two hours" and just cried before leaving to pick up Fratto.

During his confession, Patten never said Fratto was with him. But Ohlson said his client's confession also didn't account for all the injuries Micaela suffered.

Fifteen witnesses were called to the witness stand Tuesday. An additional six to seven were expected to be called Wednesday.

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Normal UPDATE: Kody Cree Patten Sentenced To Life Without Parole

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed May 22, 2013 7:33 pm

Aug. 24 2012

"Your blood runs cold, Mr. Patten. There shall be no possibility of parole."

Those words from Elko District Judge Daniel Papez Friday prompted cheers from the family of murdered West Wendover High School student Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo.

The final chapter in the 2011 brutal killing of 16-year-old Micaela was written Friday in an Elko courtroom when 19-year-old Kody Cree Patten was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Papez said he considered Patten's young age when handing down his sentence. But what outweighed that concern was the crime itself. Papez called it "the worst kind of murder."

"Micaelea's murder was carried out with gruesome, vicious, merciless violence," Papez said, while also noting that it was premeditated.

Patten, clean-shaven and wearing a suit, stood with his hands behind his back and showed little to no emotion as the sentence was issued.

Earlier in the hearing, Micaela's father pointed at Patten from the witness stand and angrily demanded answers.

"You had no right, kid. You had no right to do that. I got a question for you though: Why don't you tell me why. Why'd you harm her?" Theodore Anthony Costanzo Jr. asked.

The prosecutor had to quiet Costanzo, telling him to stick to answering questions.

When asked what sentence he believed should be imposed, the father replied: "I want him to walk into that penitentiary, and when he leaves it, he'll be in a box."

When it was Patten's turn to address the court, he took several long pauses, appearing to collect his thoughts — sometimes reaching for a tissue — and told the court he continues to go over in his head what happened that day.

But he couldn't answer why he killed the girl.

"I've sat and tried to go over it and over it. There's no reason, there's no why, no justification for it. Sorry's not enough. I apologize for everything. I'm sorry," he said.

"I can't describe what happened, can't even begin to describe it," he said. "Sorry isn't enough. … I wish I could ask for forgiveness but I don't feel I deserve it."

During his rambling speech, Patten said Micaela "was always good to me" and "anything a friend could ask for."

"The more I stand here, the more I see how horrible this is," he said. "Her family didn't deserve it. Mickey didn't deserve it."

Patten then recited part of a poem that Micaela had written, talking about a glimmer of beauty beneath "all the ugly" in the world.

"Micaela was the glimmer of beauty for people," Patten said, which caused her mother, Cecilia Costanzo, to cry even harder.

In May, Patten accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty.

The deal came after co-defendant Toni Fratto — Patten's former girlfriend — struck her own plea deal in April and also avoided a possible death penalty, pleading guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder. Fratto, 19, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. She will serve a minimum 18 years in prison before being eligible to be released.

Though both defendants have pleaded guilty, each side still has very differing accounts of what actually happened, each maintaining that the other party was more culpable.

Patten is accused of kidnapping Micaela after school on March 3, 2011. He and Fratto then drove Micaela to a remote area in the desert near the Utah-Nevada border and killed her. Patten allegedly shoved Micaela to the ground, causing her to hit her head on a rock and go into a seizure, followed by Fratto hitting her on the head with a shovel. Fratto's attorneys say their client then sat on Micaela's legs while Patten slashed her throat. Patten, however, has denied being the one who cut Micaela's throat, maintaining it was Fratto.

Patten wrote a letter to the judge as part of the pre-sentence report. In it, Patten wrote he did not intend for Fratto to cut Micaela's throat.

"The evidence does not support your statement," Papez said, accusing Patten of trying to minimize his role in the crime. "I don't believe you. You were the primary perpetrator of the murder.

"Micaela's sweet voice will never be heard again," the judge continued. "Her sweet smile will never be seen again because of you, Mr. Patten. Your acts of planning this murder, carrying out this murder in such a vicious manner and then attempting to cover up this murder, are hardly the acts of an impulsive, irrational teenage mind. You always had the ability to stop the wheels of this murder you put into motion, Mr. Patten."

After killing her, Patten and Fratto buried Micaela in a shallow grave and took some of her possessions to the Utah side of Wendover to burn. Papez said the couple then "callously" washed up and went to Wendover to get a drink.

Micaela's mother and sisters said time has only made things worse since Mickey's death. They said they continue to have nightmares.

"This man should never see the light of day or be given the chance to see the light of day ever again," said Cecilia Costanzo. "He took my daughter's life. He didn't give her a chance to finish high school or to get married or to have children or to go to college. He had no right to take her. So he has no right to have a life or have anything. … He should never be free to do anything ever again."

"I can't find joy anymore. I think it's so sad. It makes me wonder when anything will be OK anymore," said Micaela's sister, DJ.

Members of Patten's family, including his mother and father, also spoke to the court. Each described Patten as a caring person whom they could never imagine was capable of such a horrific act.

"It's very unlike him. Micaela was our friend, we loved her. She was Kody's best friend," said Donna Patten, Kody's mother.

Patten's family reminded the court that Kody had EMT training and had already been accepted to join the U.S. Marines and was even given a deployment date before the murder.

His attorney, John Ohlson, implored the judge to uphold the principle of "hope, redemption and compassion" and give Patten both a chance to prove and improve himself while in prison.

Outside the courtroom, all parties left without comment. Cecila Costanzo briefly said she was happy that "justice had been served" before walking arm in arm with her family to their cars in the parking lot to drive back to Wendover.

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Normal Re: Kody Patten, 18, arrested as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old of Micaela "Mickey" Constanzo, a popular student-athlete, whose body was found in a shallow desert grave near the Utah-Nevada line.UPDATE: Kody Cree Patten Sentenced To LWOP.

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