In 1991, 18-year-old Stacey Lannert m*urdered her father as he slept on the couch. Stacey shot him, twice, her motive being 10 years of se*xual a*buse from her father. Stacey said her sister, who was two years younger, was also being s*exually abu*sed. Originally sentenced to life in pr*ison, Stacey walked out of pr*ison after the governor commuted her sentence. She served 18-years before the commutation.
The Abu*se Begins
The abu*se began when Stacey was 8-years-old, occurring only when her father was drunk. Tom said all daughters loved their father “that way.”
When sober, Tom was a great father, doing things that dads do with their children. Once he began drinking, he turned into a monster who could not keep his hands off of children, his own children.
Mom Ignores Signs of Ab*use
Stacey’s mother, Deborah, ignored her daughter’s cries from the basement, knowing what he was doing behind those closed doors. She found a pair of blood-soaked panties, which she also ignored. Soon, Stacey caught her father se*xually abusing her younger sister.
Stacey was 13-years-old by the time her parents divorced. Her mother moved away, leaving the girls with Tom. She remarried and stayed out of the girl’s lives. After Deborah left, Tom’s drinking got worse and he began abusing the girls more frequently. Stacey recalls a time when she was s*exually ab*used by her father as many as three times in one week.
Stacey Snaps; Ki*lls Father
On July 4, 1991, Stacey knew it was time. Determined to protect her younger sister, Stacey snuck into the home through a basement window, retrieved a gun, and shot her father. The first shot didn’t k*ill the man. It struck his collarbone. He began screaming, ordering Stacey to dial 911. When he began berating her for calling for help too slowly, Stacey shot him again, this time in the head. He died instantly.
Her father was dead.
Stacey gave the gun to a friend to dispose of the following day. She then called the police, saying she found her father dead. The friend implicated Stacey immediately.
Arrested & Charged With M*urder
Stacey was arrested for her father’s mu*rder. Her lawyers wanted to use the s*exual a*buse allegations as self-defense in the case, but a judge would not introduce evidence to support the claim. She pleaded insanity.
Prosecutors argued Stacey kil*led her father for money. She wanted him out of her life and her hands on his $100,000 estate. They provided evidence showing Stacey searched different ways to ki*ll a person in the months before the mur*der.
She admitted to prosecutors that she spent money on her father’s credit card after mur*dering him but denied the m*urder was financially motivated.
Prosecutors further stated that Stacey had discussed with friends the financial benefits of mur*dering her father. She even made plans on how to use the money she would inherit if her father died.
Stacey testified in court to the se*xual ab*use she experienced and told how she walked in on her father raping her sister when she snapped.
Stacey Sentenced to Life in Pri*son
A jury found Stacey guilty of first-degree mu*rder. She was sentenced to life in pr*ison. After exhausting all her appeals, Stacey asked the Governor to commute or pardon her sentence. On January 10, 2009, the governor announced the commutation of Stacey Lannert.
What Happened to Stacey Lannert?
Stacey said she regrets shooting her father, although the time she spent in pr*ison provided her with time to find herself and grow as a person.
She founded a website for se*xual ab*use victims called Healing Sisters. The site provides victims with information and aid. Stacey then graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in psychology and works as a public defender.