As expected, Adam Peterson pleaded guilty this morning to the murder of Joel Marino of Madison. Peterson admitted today that he killed Joel Marino of Madison. The 20 year old Peterson appeared before Dane County Judge James Martin this morning, who asked Peterson, “do you understand the charge of first degree intentional homicide?” Peterson replied that he did, and that he wished to enter a plea of guilty. “Do you acknowledge that on January 28, 2008, in the city of Madison, that you caused the death of Joel A. Marino?” Peterson said that he did, and Martin immediately sentenced the former UW Madison student the mandatory penalty of life in prison. Parole eligibility will be set early next year, and prosecutors say he should not be let out for at least 40 years.
The victim's father has a wish: a long prison sentence for his son's killer. “If that were my choice, you bet,” said Lou Marino, who met with reporters following the court hearing. “I like the concept of life.” Marino says he hopes Peterson never gets out of prison. “Nothing will ever bring closure to the family on this situation,” he said. “We're just going to have to how learn to live with it, and deal with it day to day.”