Dismembered teen's family testifies about impact of death

Dismembered teen's family testifies about impact of death
FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Sullivan pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. The penalty phase of his trial opens Friday, March 15, 2019 outside Philadelphia. A jury will hear testimony about Sullivan’s crimes before deciding on a sentence of either life in prison or death. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Family members of a slain 14-year-old girl are testifying how her death has impacted them as jurors consider a sentence for her killer.

Forty-six-year-old Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend’s daughter, Grace Packer. A jury outside Philadelphia must decide on a sentence of death or life without parole.

Grace’s cousin, Karie Heisserer, told jurors Wednesday that it sickened her “to know that Grace was abused, tortured and literally thrown away like she was a piece of trash.”

Grace’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, has agreed to plead guilty in her murder in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors say Sara Packer hated Grace and shared a rape-murder fantasy with Sullivan. She is expected to testify for the defense in the penalty phase of Sullivan’s trial.