CELINA — The Grube family walked out of a Mercer County courtroom Tuesday after a second man charged with killing two of their family members was sent to prison for the rest of his life.
They now can concentrate on healing and picking up the pieces of a family torn apart by the ruthless and careless crimes of drug-using criminals.
The sentencing of Trevin Sanders to life in prison with no chance for parole comes nearly a week after Bryant Rhoades received the same sentence for the Nov. 29-30, 2011, killings of Robert Grube, 70, and his daughter, Colleen Grube, 47.
Sanders had little to offer the family in an explanation of how and why their family members were chosen but did apologize, which Judge Jeffrey Ingraham of Mercer County said did not seem genuine.
Members of the Grube family got up to share with everyone in the courtroom the special lives their loved ones lived. Robert Grube was described as “the glue” who held the family together. A quiet man but someone always there with an ear to listen or soft-spoken advice.
“I can only aspire to be half the person he was,” his sister, Bernice Allen, said.
Adrian Grube said his father was a hardworking man who put family before anything else. His sister, Colleen, who did not have children of her own, was always there for his children and any other children in the family.
“To say I missed my father and sister would be the understatement of the world,” he said. “Our family is forever broken.”
Angela Allard spoke of special vacations with her father and sister, including one to Hocking Hills for his 70th birthday. When Robert Grube tried to blow out the candles on his cake, his teeth kept falling out. Following big laughs among the family, the grandchildren came to his rescue and helped him, she said.
“That was the last family vacation we got to take with Dad and Colleen,” Allard said.
Tracy Grube said her father and sister did not deserve to be tied up and murdered. The crime left her and other family members in fear, she said.
“I am angry this monster took away my mother and sister and my family is no longer complete,” Tracy Grube said. “The defendant is pure evil.”
Cherie Gehle said she will never have another chance to spend time with her father or sister, which tears her apart.
“The opportunities to say I love you are forever gone,” she said.
Michelle Stammen said her family will never be the same after the deaths of her father and sister. She said they made the world a better place through their acts of kindness and generosity.
“Dad and Colleen were truly angels on Earth and now they are angels in heaven,” she said.
Most of the family who spoke asked for the maximum sentence.
Allen told Sanders he would not be forgiven for killing her father and sister.
“Some things in life are just unforgivable,” she said.
Prosecutor Matt Fox said Sanders was the one who came to investigators to tell them what happened and cooperated throughout the investigation, including agreeing to testify against Rhoades. Fox said he would leave it up to the judge to determine the appropriate sentence.
“No sentence that this court could issue would adequately address the loss to the Grube family,” Fox said.
Sanders, now 20 but 17 at the time of the killings, told the Grube family not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about the killings.
“If I could change what happened, I would,” he said.
Sanders was sentenced on aggravated murder, aggravated murder with a gun, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
Sanders and the 23-year-old Rhoades, possibly with others who remain unknown and uncharged, forced their way into the Grube home where they used duct tape to restrain Robert Grube, who was in a wheelchair after a stroke, and Colleen Grube, who cared for him. After ransacking the home, they shot the two to get rid of witnesses who could identify them.
Authorities said Sanders admitted to shooting Colleen Grube several times and Rhoades then shot Robert Grube.